Terry Kemp from Cumberland Charter Yachts is one of two Master Reef Guides in the region.
Terry Kemp from Cumberland Charter Yachts is one of two Master Reef Guides in the region. Contributed

Boatie masters all there is to know about the reef

IF KNOWLEDGE is power, Terry Kemp is in a powerful position with a wealth of newly acquired insight about the Great Barrier Reef.

He is now one of two Master Reef Guides in the region, and was hand-selected by the Great Barrier Reef Marine Authority to undertake the course.

Mr Kemp has worked in the bareboating industry for 32 years, and prior to undertaking the course hadn't studied for years.

"That was difficult but not impossible," he said.

Mr Kemp said over the years, he has noticed members of the public are a lot more environmentally aware.

"Years ago, people wouldn't even consider the environment is at risk, but they do now, and they're very aware about what's going on," he said.

It was the public interest that prompted him to become a Master Reef Guide, as he believes all the different information available can be confusing.

"Overseas visitors have this perception that the reef is dead, and they need to be better informed," he said.

"People do forget it's a very resilient eco-system that's been around for a million years.

"In the bareboat industry, we're not with people when they're out on the reef, so my job is to educate people at the briefings before they get out there."

Mr Kemp said the course was motivating, and encouraged anybody who was interested to apply.

"I was humbled, to be honest. I didn't really know that much about the reef before the course," he said.

"I knew about boating but not about what keeps the reef alive, what hurts it, the different types of coral and the fish."

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