Profile - Keppel Bay Corals

John Ford and his business partner Kim Grunske joined the Reef Guardian program in 2014, and have over 10 years’ experience in coral and marine aquarium fish collection based out of Yeppoon in Central Queensland.

They are recognised as leaders in sustainable collection methods and are strong supporters of Pro-Vision Reef and the Stewardship Action plan.

The major Fitzroy River floods of 2011 had a significant impact on coral reef health in the Keppel Islands area and John and Kim were fundamental players in recognising the need to activate the provisions of the Stewardship Action Plan and impose, at considerable cost to their business, a collection moratorium in an agreed area until that area had recovered and collection could resume.

That action, under the terms of the Stewardship Action Plan, is the only example [the Authority is aware of], of a fishery voluntarily ceasing operation for an agreed time in a specified area that has suffered a major environmental perturbation – as was the case with Keppel’s in 2011/12.

John and Kim were outstanding in the action they took and on the work they did to provide information to management on the health of the recovering reefs in the Keppel’s.