Stewardship Action Plan

Stewardship Action Plan 2013

Queensland Coral Fishery
Queensland Marine Aquarium Fish Fishery
Commonwealth Coral Sea Fishery

Project Partners:

Caring for our CountryQueensland GovernmentGreat Barrier Reef Marine Park AuthorityARC Centre for Excellence - Coral Reef Studies

Executive Summary

Stewardship Action Plan 2009 and Climate Change Vulnerability Assessment 2010 reports

Stewardship Action Plan 2009 (left)
Climate Change Vulnerability Assessment 2010 (right)

Pro-vision Reef Inc. is a not-for-profit organisation whose mission is to engender community and market confidence in the marine aquarium industry on the Great Barrier Reef and in the Coral Sea through commitment to the highest standards of environmental performance.

Stewardship Action Plan 2013: Mitigating Ecological Risk in a Changing Climate is the major output from a collaborative fishery management project funded by Caring For Our Country and Pro-vision Reef Inc.

The goal of the project is to build resilience in the marine aquarium industry on the Great Barrier Reef. The project forms part of a wider strategy of climate change adaptation in response to the industry Climate Change Vulnerability Assessment that was completed in 2010.

That study highlighted the longer-term biophysical implications of climate change on coral reef ecosystems. It also indicated that there is a range of shorter-term implications for businesses reliant on coral reef ecosystems that would require action across the industry to assist adaptation now.

Shorter-term implications include management of coral reef fisheries and the process that approves eligibility for export, which is critical to the commercial viability of the marine aquarium industry.

The Queensland Coral Fishery underpins the marine aquarium industry on the Great Barrier Reef. However, all stony corals are listed on Appendix II of CITES. As a signatory to that international agreement, the Australian CITES Scientific Authority must assess whether international trade in those corals from Australia is detrimental to their survival.

As a result of the CITES Non-detriment Finding, the cycle of fishery assessment, management and monitoring has been made much stronger. Through Stewardship Action Plan 2013: Mitigating Ecological Risk in a Changing Climate, industry aims to contribute in a practical way to driving down ecological risk in the fisheries and to assist achievement of management objectives for the fisheries.

The majority of the marine aquarium industry, particularly those involved in the Queensland Coral Fishery, attended workshops to devise standards to mitigate risk to species identified in the Ecological Risk Assessments of the fisheries.

Fishery businesses also committed to supply coral specimens as part of a Research Plan that will fill knowledge gaps such that the initiative, and the Ecological Risk Assessments, can continuously improve. The industry will provide digital imagery to fishery and marine park managers to assist resource assessment. And they committed to the development of electronic logbooks to provide high-resolution spatial and taxonomic fishery data in real time for the management of the fisheries.

Lastly, this initiative expands the role of the existing Management Response Task Force. The purpose of the Management Response Task Force is to gather the available resources from industry, fishery and marine park management agencies and other applicable expertise to determine a management response to disturbance or sustainability concern that will assist recovery capacity of coral reefs in affected areas.

This initiative builds on the strong foundations of the first edition of the Stewardship Action Plan in 2009.

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