Risks to the Region’s values
of closely related threats. For key threats discussion is provided on post-2009 changes in risk where reasonable comparison is possible. Examples include illegal fishing and poaching (an amalgamation) and the now separate threats of dredging and disposal and resuspension of dredge.
Forty-one threats from all sources are assessed.
The threats identified are relevant to both the assessments of risks to the ecosystem and heritage values. Advice collected in 2013 from the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority’s Local Marine Advisory Committees, Reef Guardian councils, teachers from Reef Guardian schools, Reef scientists, as well as the outcomes of various community surveys were also considered in refining the set of threats. An additional threat, ‘incompatible uses’, has been included in relation to heritage values to address the conflicts between uses that can arise. This threat is likely to be the result of many different direct uses of the Region and relates to activities undertaken that disturb or exclude other users. For example, where recreational use occurs in areas important for cultural activities, or where the nature of a commercial activity reduces access for recreational users. The list of threats includes direct and indirect threats plus several ‘consequential threats’ that result from other threats. For example, the indirect threat of increased nutrients from land-based run-off affects the environmental process of primary production, which in turn can contribute to the threat of crown-of-thorns starfish outbreaks.5 It is important to note that the threats considered in this assessment can only be those that are known and identified. There are likely to be more unknown and unanticipated threats that have not been considered in the assessment. As these are identified they will be assessed in future reports. Some threats have been combined and others added or redefined since the Outlook Report 2009 (Appendix 5).
Threats to the Reef from coastal development are part of the risk assessment
9.2.2 Assessing threats
Two separate risk assessments are presented, one for the Region’s ecosystem and one for its heritage values. The Australian Standard for Risk Assessment (AS/NZS ISO 31000:2009) 6 was followed.
A standard risk assessment method is used, based on likelihood and consequence.
The likelihood and consequence of each threat are ranked on the five-point scale set out in Appendix 6. An overall risk level for each threat is determined, based on a combination of its likelihood and consequence. There are different criteria for ranking consequence in relation to the ecosystem and to heritage values. Risk is considered to be residual — that which remains once existing management has been taken into consideration. The assessment is based on information in Chapters 2 to 8 of this report, including the current state of the Region’s ecosystem and heritage values, current use patterns, factors influencing the Region’s values, effectiveness of management and current resilience. Because of the size and complexity of the Region and because many threats affect its values over different time and spatial scales, at different intensities and interact in many different ways, the