Agreement extended to protect Reef

Published: 10/01/2012

Coral collectors in the Keppels area have been applauded for continuing their efforts to safeguard areas of the Great Barrier Reef where they work.

Local collectors have extended their temporary agreement to limit coral collecting in a large part of the Keppel Bay area until 29 February 2012.

Coral reefs in this area bore the brunt of floodwaters entering the Great Barrier Reef during the major floods in southeast Queensland last summer.

Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority Acting Director Randall Owens commended their actions saying it was sign of the industry's commitment to the Reef.

"Reducing other pressures is the best way to help coral reefs recover after stressful events like major floods," he said.

"Marine Aquarium Fish Fishery and Queensland Coral Fishery collectors have taken the unanimous decision to voluntarily extend the temporary agreement in Keppel Bay.

"This is a great result and continues to be a credit to industry and their demonstrated willingness to act positively and decisively under the terms of their Stewardship Action Plan.

"This continues the outstanding stewardship action from this industry group and shows they are proactively committed to partnering with management agencies and other reef users to help build the resilience of the Reef.

"This will translate into long-term benefits for their business."

These operators form part of the aquarium supply industry association, Pro-vision Reef, representing licensed operators in the Queensland Marine Aquarium Fishery, the Queensland Coral Fishery and the Coral Sea Fishery.

Pro-vision Reef spokesperson Lyle Squire said the extension would allow further surveys to be carried out.

"The Reefs around the Keppels area will benefit with extra time for recovery and will also allow analysis and interpretation of the Reef Health Impact Summary data," Mr Squire said.

"Local collectors will also be able to undertake further surveys in collaboration with officers from Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service as part of a collaborative approach to ensure all decision making is based on credible information.

"These initiatives help to engender community and market confidence in the marine aquarium industry on the Great Barrier Reef."

Name: GBRMPA Media
Contact: (07)4750 0846