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Figure 9.3 Assorted coral displayed at the Green Island kiosk, c. 1940. Source: Uncatalogued
photograph obtained from Cairns Historical Society, Cairns, courtesy of G. Jennex
Furthermore, the extent of manipulation of coral reefs had increased to the
point where the transplantation of coral from unprotected reefs to those at resort
islands, in which coral depletion had taken place, was feasible. By 1952, at Green
Island, coral specimens were imported from adjacent reefs in order to supplement
the coral gardens that surrounded the underwater observatory, with the result
that a total length of 70 feet of coral gardens could be viewed by tourists . 17
Green Island was not the only location to experience degradation due to coral
collecting; Heron Island reef was also depleted by tourist souveniring (Figure 9.4) .
Commercial coral collecting also took place at Heron Island reef and Wistari
Reef, and the depletion of species there was reported by Monkman, when he was
the Honorary NP Ranger and Honorary Fisheries Inspector at Heron Island, who
stated that:
The Don Juan […] anchored inside the Heron Island reef for several days,
whilst the crew of that boat, i.e. two young men and a woman, had been
systematically combing the reef during the period of each low tide, both day
and night, and had already collected a considerable number of living shellfish
and colonies of coral. [...] These people were conducting a business of the
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