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Divers Flip Coral To Save Reef

Divers have been discreetly flipping coral in an attempt to help Australia's Great Barrier Reef survive after a cyclone, it has been reported. Many dive operators have admitted to undertaking the illegal practice of flipping stretches of coral along the country's north-east coast that had been tipped over when cyclone Yasi struck last month, according to a report in The Cairns Post. Turning the coral the right way up helps its component algae reach sunlight, which it needs in order to survive. The Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority has in the past overlooked the practice as long as none of the coral or other members of the biodiversity such as fish or sea shells are removed or displaced. Col McKenzie, chief executive, Association of Marine Park Tourism Operators, said that almost every operator had carried out the practice discreetly for years He added: "People do it on the quiet. "They just ignore the restrictions and just do it. I know as a dive instructor, I would swim along and if you see a bit of coral that's been turned over from the day before, you just flip it back over. You wouldn't leave it to die. It would be like leaving an animal on the side of the road and ignoring it."

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