|As the year draws to an end it is a good time to reflect on our achievements throughout a very busy 2012.
Top of mind of course is the strategic assessment for the Great Barrier Reef which has taken up a good deal of our time this year and will be a significant undertaking well into 2013. As part of this process, we are working with stakeholders to identify the Reef’s values, the threats to those values and what we need to do to address them. This comprehensive assessment allows us to look at the cumulative impacts on the Reef, that is the multiple pressures from multiple activities. The process will help us to develop a program that will guide how the Reef is managed for the next 25 years.
Thank-you to everyone who has worked with us or has taken an interest in the Great Barrier Reef throughout the year. We look forward to working with you again next year.
Merry Christmas and a happy New Year.
Dr Russell Reichelt
Chairman, Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority
18 December 2012
Above: Reef Guardian fisher Lyle Squire (left) from Cairns Marine and tourism operator Tony Baker (right) from Quicksilver Cruises were among those who joined our Chairman Russell Reichelt (centre) for the launch of a five-year climate change action plan.
Action to protect the Reef from climate change
We recently released our five-year action plan to help the Reef better cope with the impacts of climate change. The Great Barrier Reef Climate Change Adaptation Strategy and Action Plan 2012–2017 sets targets to improve the Reef’s health with a strong focus on helping industries and communities use the Reef wisely and encouraging them to take action to reduce the rate and extent of climate change.
The adaptation strategy and action plan follow on from the Great Barrier Reef Climate Change Action Plan 2007–12, the first reef-focused climate action plan of its kind. It saw a number of major initiatives get underway such as protecting green turtles at Raine Island. More information about this and other initiatives are included in the Climate Change Adaptation: Outcomes from the Great Barrier Reef Climate Change Action Plan 2007–2012.
Zoning map reminder
Heading out to the Reef over the holiday period? Don’t forget to get your free zoning map before you go. Brush up on the zones before catching a festive feast these Christmas holidays or a fine could be on the menu. Everyone working together to do the right things in the right zones helps zoning do its important job of securing the Reef’s future. Drop into your local bait and tackle shop, visitor information centre or ship chandlers for your free zoning map or call us on 1800 990 177.
The Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority offices in Cairns, Townsville, Mackay and Rockhampton will be closed from Tuesday 25 December 2012 and reopen Wednesday 2 January 2012. Important contact phone numbers, should you need them over the Christmas break, can be found on our website.
|Reef HQ Aquarium wins award
Congratulations to Reef HQ Aquarium for taking out the Qantas Award for Excellence in Sustainable Tourism at the Queensland Tourism Awards – the premier tourism awards recognising outstanding achievements across the state.
Sustainability is a key focus for the world’s largest living coral reef aquarium which has halved its energy consumption — by using simple energy reduction measures that anyone at home can do, to more complex initiatives such as installing one of the country’s largest roof-mounted solar power systems.
Reef HQ Aquarium will represent Queensland in this category at the Australian Tourism Awards in February 2013.
|Reef Guardian awards
Ten Reef Guardian Schools from across Queensland have scooped awards for keeping their local environment and the Great Barrier Reef ecosystem healthy.
Each award provides winning schools with $1000 funding to help further their environmental projects.
Students are the future custodians of the Great Barrier Reef and it’s fantastic to see them protecting their local environment and the Reef.
|Tourism operator cuts emissions
Great Barrier Reef tourism operators Jan and Peter Claxton have invested in emission-cutting technology for their Whitsunday and Cape Tribulation based operations.
By using four-stroke outboard motors, the high standard tour operators have dropped their fuel and oil use by 30 per cent delivering considerable savings.
It's an achievement which has made them industry leaders in responding to climate change and looking after the Great Barrier Reef.
Honouring a science pioneer
Marine science pioneer Patricia Mather has been recognised for her important contribution to the field with the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority naming a reef in her honour.
A previously unnamed reef in the Swains Reefs (Reef No 21–148) now bears the name Patricia Mather Reef.
The particular reef was named in her honour because it resembles the classic round shape of a cunjevoi, one of the best known sea squirts on Australia’s coastal intertidal areas.
During her 40-year career Patricia Mather (1925–2012) specialised in the study of sea squirts. She was also instrumental in the establishment of the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park.