Douglas Shoal environmental remediation project

The Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority negotiated an out-of-court settlement with the owners and insurers of Shen Neng 1, which ran aground in the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park in April 2010.

The Marine Park Authority was awarded $35 million to clean up the site. A project team is looking at a number of options to support the natural recovery of Douglas Shoal.

The project will address:

  • Contamination caused by the ship’s anti-fouling paint
  • Rubble created as the ship ground across the shoal
  • The flattening of the shoal’s natural bumps and crevices that are habitat for plants and animals.

The clean-up is expected to be completed by June 2020.

About the location

Douglas Shoal is located about 90km northeast of Gladstone and 45km northwest of Heron Island, in the sea country of the Gooreng Gooreng, Gurang, Byellee and Tarebilang Bunda people.

It is a large, flat-topped shoal that supports abundant fish life and protected species such as sea snakes and marine turtles. The shoal is covered by a variety of algae mixed with soft and hard corals.

When the coal carrier ran aground in April 2010 it caused extensive damage. With an impact area of more than 40 hectares, this is the largest ship grounding scar known in the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park, and possibly the largest reef-related impact in the world.

Project updates

Possible open tender opportunities are updated regularly on our AusTender Annual Procurement Plan.

In November 2017 the project team finalised the Preliminary Site Assessment Report.

This report consolidates the Marine Park Authority’s knowledge of Douglas Shoal before and after the grounding and identifies critical knowledge gaps and possible priority areas for remediation.

Documents and reports

Our documents and reports about this grounding can be found online. Reports published by other government agencies include:

For media queries:
media@gbrmpa.gov.au
(07) 4750 0846

For other project queries:
douglas.shoal@gbrmpa.gov.au