Lessons learned from 30 years of managing the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park

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1 Lessons learned from 30 years of managing the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park John Tanzer Executive Director GBRMPA Marine Conservation Conference, Stralsund May 2006

2 Outline of talk Key dates Overview of size & complexity of GBR Main management tools, zoning Key issues facing GBR The rezoning program (RAP) Some lessons learnt

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7 Key dates - GBRMP Act passed; Marine Park boundary only first Zoning Plan completed for part only entire MP zoned (four major sections zoned sequentially) Plans of Mgt (Cairns, Whitsundays) major restructure, Critical Issues approach

8 Key dates cont two sections rezoned, but recognition of need for GBR-wide representative approach; RAP commenced 2000 Trawl Management Plan 2002 Reef Water Quality Protection Plan new ZP to Parliament; and approved new ZP came into effect on 1 July 2005 Implementation, Community Partnerships

9 The Great Barrier Reef roughly equivalent to the size of the Baltic Sea....but only one adjoining State!

10 GBRMP is much more than just coral reefs. GBRMP also includes: mangroves sandy & coral cays continental islands seagrass beds (shallow & deepwater) algal & sponge gardens sandy and muddy inter-reefal communities deep ocean troughs.

11 Importance of marine connectivity The Red Emperor spends different stages of its life cycle utilising different habitats (Source: R Kelly, ACRS)

12 Socio-economic values Reef and Catchment Industries ( ) Industry value ($million) Tourism Beef Productivity Commission Report, 2003 Sugar Horticulture Rec. Fishing Com. Fishing Registered Recreational Vessels GBR Catchment

13 Entire GBR Marine Park protected by law since 1975 managed as a multiple-use marine park, with zoning as one of the main management tools.

14 Variety of management tools for a multi-use GBRMP Legislation (GBRMP Act & Regulations) Zoning Plan subordinate legislation Permits Education Surveillance and enforcement Plans of Management Site Plans/Special Management Areas Economic instruments (eg. EMC) Best Environmental Practices/Codes of Practice Partnerships

15 Zoning for multiple use

16 Complementary management Federal & State (Queensland) Governments cooperate in management of the GBR. Field management undertaken mainly by the Queensland agencies including: Queensland Parks & Wildlife Service Queensland Boating & Fisheries Patrol Queensland Water Police

17 Complementary management (cont) Other Federal agencies cooperate in surveillance & enforcement: Coastwatch Customs Commonwealth Department of Public Prosecutions Australian Federal Police Australian Maritime Safety Authority

18 The Great Barrier Reef Region is under pressure Pressures include: Downstream effects of landuse (water quality issues) Increasing fishing effort and impacts Increasing coastal developments Shipping & pollution incidents Increasing tourism and recreation Climate change/coral bleaching

19 Sustainable Tourism > $5.1 billion industry Management of competing and conflicting use New technologies Increasing range and types of services

20 Sustainable Fishing Recreational fishing ~ $610 million Commercial fishing ~ $150 million Trawlers, reef line, inshore net & harvest Indigenous fishing

21 Species Conservation Dugong Turtles (6 spp) Whales and dolphins Sharks Other biodiversity values

22 INDIGENOUS CO- MANAGEMENT Traditional hunting and fishing Co-operative approach Traditional Use of marine Resource Agreements

23 Hard at work

24 Water Quality Sediment, nutrients & contaminants from land Management of diffuse and point sources of pollution Catchment degradation Loss of wetlands & habitats Sewage & vessel discharges Oil spills Coastal developments

25 Coastal Growth / Sea Change Increasing demands on coastal resources, land, infrastructure and services Increasing population growth in coastal zone Pressure on coastal councils Engagement of coastal community

26 Climate change Impacts dramatic, immediate & significant 2 mass coral bleaching events on GBR 1998 & 2002 Bleaching in southern GBR 2006 Working to build resilience

27 Pre - RAP Zoning Late 1990s Preserv Zone ( no go ) 0.1% Marine Nat Park ( no take ) 4.6% Scien Research 0.01% Buffer Zone (trolling only) 0.1% Conserv Park (limited fishing) 0.6% Habitat Prot (no trawling) 15.2% General Use (reasonable use) 77.9%

28 Revised Zoning Plan 1 July km offshore Preserv Zone 0.2% (0.1%) Marine Nat Park 33.3% (4.6%) Scien Research 0.05% (0.01%) Buffer Zone 2.9% (0.1%) Conserv Park 1.5% (0.6%) Habitat Prot 28.2% (15.2%) General Use 33.8% (77.9%)

29 Huge changes between the Draft Zoning Plan and the Final Zoning Plan

30 DRAFT Zoning Plan Vessel Monitoring System (VMS) Data

31 FINAL Zoning Plan

32 Changes to recognising recreational fishing concerns 70% of nominated GPS marks in submissions remain fishable and many community zoning requests were implemented Llewellyn Reef to be located in a green zone "Boult and Fitzroy reefs to be zoned blue.." "The Western Warregoes is one of the most important fishing grounds in this area.." Deepwater National Park - "A blue/yellow strip" Major variations evident from Draft Zoning Plan to suit commercial and recreational fishing interests

33 A 3-fold difference in coral trout biomass between zones blue (fished) & green (no-take) A 2-fold difference in density of prey fish of coral trout between zones Suggests a trophic effect of fishing and zoning Average biomass (g) per site (1500m 2 ) +/- SE Average density per site (1500m 2 ) +/- SE P < Whitsunday Islands Whitsunday Islands Palm Islands Palm Islands Graham, Evans and Russ (2003) Blue Green Blue Green

34 How critical was the rezoning program? The rezoning alone will not save the GBR. but it is a fundamental component, essential for conserving habitats and ecosystem processes, to ensure the Great Barrier Reef remains GREAT for the future.

35 Key strategies to increase the resilience of the GBR Improving water quality (Reef Water Quality Protection Plan) Increasing biodiversity protection (Representative Areas Program) Promoting sustainable fisheries (Queensland Fisheries Management Plans) Developing sound policy re effects of climate change on reefs (Climate Change Action Plan)

36 Various community and stakeholder committees have been established to assist GBRMPA 1. GBR Consultative Committee is required by the Act and has statutory obligations; 2. Four Reef Advisory Committees (one for each of four critical issues; voluntary); 3. Ten Local Marine Advisory Committees along GBR coast (all voluntary) 4. All are advisory and have specific terms of reference, roles & responsibilities

37 Community-based monitoring CAP Reef Reef Water Quality Protection Plan monitoring Eye on the Reef Bleach Watch COTS Watch Seagrass Watch Reef Check

38 Reasons for effective management of the GBRMP? a sound legislative and regulatory framework (GBRMP Act 1975 & EPBC Act 1999) ecosystem-level management and management influence over a wider context than just the MPA/WHA national consensus and international recognition that the GBR is iconic and worth conserving well developed institutional arrangements with the adjacent jurisdiction (Queensland) including complementary legislation ongoing research and monitoring programs, prioritised to provide information for management

39 Lessons learnt Must integrate fisheries into ecosystem management Align research, monitoring and management Avoid scientific holding patterns Effective compliance Transparency and public debate Effective communication tell the story Management requires public support Community participation and ownership

40 Thank you au For more information

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