Management Of The Great Barrier Reef Marine Park

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When the Act came into effect in 1975, the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority (GBRMPA) was established as a Commonwealth Statutory Authority. The GBRMPA is the principal adviser to the Australian Government on the planning and management of the GBRMP, and is part of the Australian Government's Environment, Water Heritage and the Arts portfolio. The Goal of the GBRMPA is 'to provide for the long term protection, ecologically sustainable use, understanding and enjoyment of the GBR through the care and development of the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park'.

Field management (i.e. 'on the water') is undertaken by a number of Queensland and Australian Government agencies working under contract or other less formal arrangements or partnerships with the GBRMPA. These government agencies include the Queensland Parks and Wildlife (QPW), the Queensland Boating and Fisheries Patrol, the Queensland Water Police, Coastwatch, the Customs National Marine Unit, and the Australian Federal Police. The GBRMPA also directly participates in field management activities such as compliance, monitoring and the assessment of permits.

The Day-to-Day Management Program (DDM) is a jointly funded co-operative partnership between the Australian and Queensland Governments. It coordinates the day-to-day activities and field operations required for the management of the GBRMP and GBR World Heritage Area (including all the islands and intertidal waters).

In addition to the DDM arrangements, Queensland Government agencies with responsibilities for policy coordination, environment, local government, maritime matters, catchments, land use and fisheries are actively involved in administration and management of issues pertinent to the health and operation of the GBR. To carry out its functions effectively, the GBRMPA maintains liaison and policy co-ordination arrangements with all of these agencies, both at the operational and strategic levels. This close working partnership between Queensland and the GBRMPA has evolved over 30 years, and includes such aspects as complementary zoning and joint permits. This partnership has ensured the effective management of the complex and inter-related mix of marine, coastal and island issues, and provides for integrated management of the GBR on a whole-of-ecosystem basis.

This fundamental working relationship with the Queensland Government and its agencies is critically important for effective management of the GBR. Staff of the Authority also maintain strong partnerships with a wide range of other agencies, stakeholders, councils, traditional owners, community members and researchers with an interest in the protection, ecologically sustainable use, understanding and enjoyment of the GBR.

The first zoning plan for a small section of the GBRMP was finalised in 1981. It introduced a spectrum of zone types, ranging from a General Use Zone (the least restrictive zone, allowing most reasonable uses), through to a Preservation Zone (very small 'no-go' areas, set aside as scientific reference areas). These zone types, whilst refined, still exist today.

Within each zone type (see Fig. 12.1), certain activities are allowed 'as-of-right' (that is, no permit is required, but users must comply with any legislative requirements in force), some specified activities require a permit, and some activities are prohibited.

ACTIVITIES GUIDE

(see relevant Zoning Plans and Regulations for details}

ACTIVITIES GUIDE

(see relevant Zoning Plans and Regulations for details}

Aquaculture

Permit

Permit

Permit1

X

X

X

D

Bait netting

S

X

X

X

El

Boallng, diving, photography

•S

S

</

■s

Crabbing (trapping)

S

X

X

X

Harvest fishing for aquarium fish, corat and beachworm

Permil

Permil

Permit1

X

X

X

Harvest fishing for sea cucumber, trochus, tropical rock lobster

Permit

Permit

X

X

X

X

Limited collecting

V*

X

X

X

Limited speartlshing (snorkel only)

S

^ 1

X

X

X

Line fishing

S 5

V 6

X

X

X

D

Netting (other than bait netting)

S

X

X

X

X

Research (other than limited impact research)

Permit

Permit

Permil

Permit

Permit

Permit

Permit

Shipping {olher than in a designated shipping area)

Permit

Permit

Permit

Permit

Permil

X

Tourism programme

Permit

Permil

Permit

Permit

Permit

Permil

X

Traditional use of marine resources

✓ 1

V 7

^ 7

S7

X

Trawling

X

X

X

X

X

X

Trolling

S 5

y** 5,8

X

X

X

PLEASE NOTE; This guide provides an introduction to Zoning in the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Relevant Queensland Marine Park Zoning Plans or (he Queensland Environmental Protection Agency should be consulted for confirmation o1 use or entry requirement

1. Resinctions apply to aquaculture. spearlishmg and Harvest lishlng for aquarium fish, beachworm and coral in the Conservation Park Zone.

2. Except for One Tree Island Reef (SR-23-2010) and Australian Institute of Marine S&ence (SR-19-2008) which are closed to public access and shown as orange, all other Scientific Research Zones are shown as green with an orange outline

3. Limited to 4 catch devices (eg crab pots, dillles and inverted dillles) per person.

4. By hand or hand-held implement and generally no more than 5 of a species.

5. Maximum of 3 lines/rods per person with a combined total of 6 hooks per person.

6. Limited to 1 line/rod per person and 1 hook per line Only 1 dory detached from a commercial fishing vessel.

7. Apart from traditional use of marine resources in accordance with s.211 of the Native Title Ac! 1993, an accredited Traditional Use ol Marine Resources Agreement or permil is required.

8. Pelagic species only. Seasonal Closures apply to some Bulfer Zones.

Detailed information is contained in the Greal Barrier Reef Marine Park Zoning Plan and Regulations.

• Permits are required for most other activities not listed above

• Commonwealth owned Islands in the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park are zoned "Commonwealth Islands Zone" - shown as cream

• All Commonwealth Islands may not be shown.

• Special Management Areas may provide additional restrictions at some locations

• The Zoning Plan does not affect Ihe operation of s 211 of the Native Title Act 1993.

ACCESS TO ALL ZONES IS PERMITTED IN AN EMERGENCY.

Figure 12.1 Activities Guide. © Commonwealth of Australia ( July 2004).

BOX 12.1 GLOSSARY

bioregion. An area with habitats, communities (e.g. areas of seagrass) and physical features (e.g. sediment type, depth) that are more similar within the bioregion than those occurring in other bioregions.

No-Take Area/No-Take Zone. A zone or area where extractive activities are not permitted (see also Table 12.1).

Different sections of the GBRMP were progressively zoned, and by the late 1990s, approximately 15 800 km2 (~4.6%) of the GBRMP were zoned as No-Take Areas (Marine National Park Zones), with a further 450 km2 (~ 0.13% of the GBRMP) set aside for scientific baselines as 'no-go' areas (Preservation Zones). Over the last 30 years there has been a huge growth in scientific understanding of ecological aspects of the GBR, including ecosystem processes, connectivity, and the relationships between species and the physical environment.

Having good relationships with scientists helps the GBRMPA access the best available information for decision-making that is essential to high quality, scientifically-based management of the GBRMP. A list of research priorities for the management of the GBRMP has been compiled, and, whenever possible, the GBRMPA applies an adaptive management approach, using the best information available and if necessary erring on the side of caution.

Other management tools (outlined in the Conclusion) are used in conjunction with zoning to help achieve ecological protection and other management objectives. The GBRMP has always relied on this range of tools, but zoning has long been regarded as the cornerstone of effective planning and management.

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