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Figure 9.4 Tourists gathering coral specimens from Heron Island reef, c. 1930. Source: QS189/1
Box 17 Item 73, Queensland Industry, Services, Views, People and Events; Photographic
Proofs and Negatives; Islands - Barrier Reef, Queensland State Archives, Brisbane
sale of such specimens by making the shells into jewellery and bleaching and
colouring the coral. [...] I went out to this boat, and found coral bleaching
on the deck […] . 18
Monkman also reported that, although that incident took place at Heron Island,
the owner of the boat 'did most of his collecting of coral and shells on Wistari
Reef, adjacent to Heron Island'.
As a result of the cumulative impacts of tourist souveniring and the increasing
impacts of commercial coral collecting, Wistari Reef and One Tree Island reef
had deteriorated by 1955. Describing the decline of those reefs, Monkman stated:
I have been working on the Reef for 25 years as a marine biologist and film
producer, and during that period have seen the sad sight of some of our most
beautiful reefs being destroyed as thing of beauty and wonder, and have seen
the selling of coral and shells become an outrageous racket. Wistari Reef has
already commenced to deteriorate through these depredations, and I would
implore your Department to protect this reef before it suffers the same fate as
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