The Challenge


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.

Pro-vision Reef Inc. carried out the project in conjunction with project partners from Fisheries Queensland, Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority, Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service, and the Australian Research Council Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies. The project is proudly supported by WWF Australia.

Pro-vision Reef’s mission is to engender community and market confidence in the marine aquarium industry through commitment to the highest standards of environmental performance in the fisheries on the Great Barrier Reef and in the Coral Sea.

Stewardship Action Plan 2013: Mitigating Ecological Risk in a Changing Climate is not a Code of Practice. However, the highly targeted and adaptive approach by the industry to mitigate risks identified through an independent scientific assessment process can be considered ‘World’s Best Practice’.

This industry initiative creates a framework for collaborative management and fishery improvement that is replicable across other Australian commercial fisheries. It creates a means for fishery risks to be managed through the involvement of industry practitioners that implement agreed risk mitigation standards at the individual operator level.

It is an initiative that is based on partnerships and integrates practical industry participation early in the existing cycle of assessment, management and monitoring.

The project aims are depicted in the table below.

[ mobile users: click here to view the table ]

Build resilience in the marine aquarium industry on the Great Barrier Reef




Aspirational Goal

Mitigate ecological risk in the fisheries Adapt to new priorities driven by climate change Increase adaptive capacity and reduce vulnerability

Longer Term Outcomes

Articulated and documented industry contribution to retention of coral reef biodiversity and resilience in a changing climate. Effective collaboration formalised between industry, fishery and marine protected areas managers, researchers and conservation to achieve low-risk private commercial use of a public asset. Industry assisted to legitimately claim a high-end international market position and to pursue a low-volume, high-value market strategy on the basis of sound and defensible provenance.
Formal linkage of the industry prescribed ‘Stewardship Action Plan’ to the cycle of the fishery manager’s Ecological Risk Assessment for the whole Queensland fishery Consideration of community expectation of the industry and how it is managed in the context of a changing climate based on scientific advice, resource management practicalities, conservation aspirations and industry profitability Increased industry cohesion, sharing of experiences and ideas and a breaking down of competitive barriers; and unification in the development of a sustainable future for an industry characterised by family businesses

Intermediate Outcomes

Increased understanding of climate change risks to the Great Barrier Reef and to industries reliant upon it Increased understanding of natural resource management priorities and the business decisions that must be made in consideration of these priorities Increased understanding of the social paradigm associated with natural resource sustainability and stewardship by natural resource users Increased understanding of the bridging effect of collaboration with key stakeholders to building community confidence about sustainability of fisheries Increased ‘ownership’ of the future of the industry as a whole by individual businesses Increased understanding of the market positioning opportunities generated by affirmative action to mitigate ecological risk from the fisheries


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