CORAL PROJECTS DISCUSSED
Questions asked on fix for our reef
HOW can the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority help the Whitsundays in the wake of Tropical Cyclone Debbie?
This was one of the major talking points when GBRMPA representatives came to the region last week.
On Thursday, representatives from GBRMPA met with tourism operators, industry leaders and members of the Whitsunday community, with discussions focussed on what actions needed to be taken, where they needed to occur and what the expected outcomes would be.
GBRMPA’s director of tourism and stewardship Fred Nucifora said the organisation’s chairman, Dr Russell Reichelt, had “basically been very open in saying that every suggestion is on the table now”.
It was generally agreed that site assessments had been hampered by poor visibility caused by the category four storm.
Nevertheless, Mr Nucifora said GBRMPA had been working with the team at Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service, who had already been to some
From the data available so far, it appears the outer reefs have fared reasonably well, while the fringing reefs in exposed bays on some of the Whitsunday islands bore the brunt of Debbie’s wrath.
Mr Nucifora said as of last week, approval was going to be granted to the Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service to move coral rubble in the intertidal areas back into the water.
He said this would create some of the structure needed for coral to grow on.
Biorock – an artificial means of restoring structure – was also discussed.
“We’ve been talking a lot about coral nurseries, coral gardens, coral propagation projects, biorock, electro-mineral accretion (which is the same thing but you just zap it a little bit) – so yes, those things are on the table,” Mr Nucifora said.
Also discussed were ‘no fin’ policies for some areas, protecting herbivores, crown-of-thorns starfish control and the possibility of a moratorium on changes to the Whitsunday Plan of Management.
Full story online at whitsundaytimes.com.au.
HOPE: The Whitsundays' Hardy Reef, seen here pre-cyclone, will open to day tours again soon.