The Stewardship Action Plan is a statement of operational standards in the aquarium supply fisheries that are based in Queensland. Developed in collaboration with collectors from the three fisheries together with the fisheries and protected areas management agencies and coral reef scientists, the Plan establishes a uniform specimen collection standard across the industry.
The Plan includes specific collection strategies for various types of fish and coral according to natural replacement capacity and functional ecological role. The Plan includes a complaints handling process, sanctions for non-compliant behaviour and is independently overseen.
Importantly, the Plan includes a response plan for events linked to global climate change. Using coral bleaching as the key indicator, the Plan requires members who encounter bleaching to carry out in situ site assessments according to a standardised method, and then report the incidence to the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority (GBRMPA). Depending on the severity of bleaching, additional collection strategies apply, including not collecting at all from heavily affected sites.
The climate change response component of the Plan is linked to the Coral Bleaching Response Plan (CBRP) developed by the GBRMPA and the fishery-specific Coral Stress Response Plan (CSRP) developed by the fisheries management agency, Fisheries Queensland.
When sea surface temperature monitoring in spring indicates a high risk of bleaching in the coming summer, the CBRP is triggered, which in turn requires Pro-vision Reef members to engage in the climate change response component of the Plan. At this point, Fisheries Queensland convenes a Task Force in accordance with their CSRP, which includes a Pro-vision Reef representative. The role of this group is to assess the extent and severity of bleaching and to determine any management actions that might be necessary.
This co-operative approach between industry and the agencies that oversee the fishery activities places the aquarium supply industry at the forefront of co-management arrangements for fisheries on the Great Barrier Reef.
If you are out on the Great Barrier Reef, look for the Stewardship Action Team sticker on the side of the boat of an aquarium fish and coral collector. The sticker means the operator is a signatory to best practice and proactively collaborates with the management agencies to respond to the challenges associated with climate change.
Stewardship Action Plan
Coral Bleaching Response Plan
Coral Stress Response Plan