The Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authroity (GBRMPA) has posted its proposed plans of management for the popular cruising area of the Whitsundays, if you are keen on this area then you should take a look and maybe post a submission.
But you better hurry as deadlines will close on the 7th of April.
Nature conservation values of the Planning Area that the Authority considers are,or may be, threatened include the following:
- water quality
- corals and associated biota
- habitats and marine animals
- birds nesting or roosting in, or adjacent to, the Planning Area.
Strategies suggested to counter these perceived threats include:
- for water quality: to mostly “encourage investigation into the impacts of anchoring, including chain swing at high-use sites
- for coral: they want to cease the practice of reef walking, plus cease anchoring at susceptible sites and continue to provide public moorings.
In regard to community usage the authority want to balance the range of visitations by implementing a five-step range from 1:intensive, through to 5:protected. This will place limits on vessel length, group sizes, operation of vessels and aircraft, facilities and certain activities which can be undertaken at each site.
Probably one of the most contentious amendments is the addition of 21 new superyacht moorings in the area.