Wednesday, November 09, 2011

Underfunded Reef managers struggle with huge projects

Underfunded Reef managers struggle with huge projects


Lack of funding by successive state and federal governments is leaving "financially constrained" managers of the Great Barrier Reef to struggle with the enormous pressures facing the future of development and environment.

ABC's Four Corners program on Monday night reported that the World Heritage Commission has expressed concerns over the growth of the LNG/CSG industry and the many other projects along the Queensland coast that will affect the Great Barrier Reef, a world heritage-listed area.

Dr Fanny Douvere is co-ordinator of the marine program of UNESCO's World Heritage Centre in Paris.

"When we received the environmental impact assessment from the government of Australia, it appears to have contradictory statements," Dr Douvere said.

"On the one hand it states that the facilities and the measures that are taken for the protection of the environment make it unlikely that there will be any significant negative impact on the outstanding and universal value of the Great Barrier Reef.

"On the other hand it also concludes that there will be a direct and indirect impact on the coastal and marine habitats and species including seagrass, mangroves, dugongs and turtles as well."

The Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority has also had concerns over the concentration of the industry on the Barrier Reef.

"Our concerns filled many pages, but it relates to the things you'd expect any potential spill over into the marine park of dredging activity, impacts on migratory species, humpback dolphin, Indo-Pacific and the snub fin dolphins," scientist and Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority Chair Dr Russell Reichelt said.

Chairs of all Local Marine Advisory Committees responsible for providing advice to the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority on matters of interest to Reef communities, have drafted a letter to Dr Reichelt passing on grave concerns to Federal Minister Burke and the Marine Park Authority Board about the impacts of increased coastal developments on the Great Barrier Reef.

"At our recent annual conference, we agreed that the cumulative impacts of development, for example ports expansions, will have significant detrimental effects on both the ecological and socio-economic life of the region."

"Of particular concern are the projects at Gladstone, Abbot Point, Port Alma, Port of Townsville and Bathurst Bay."

"We implore the Federal Government in its decision making, to think beyond the short-term to consider the long-term protection of the Great Barrier Reef for the benefit of generations to come."

A report about the impact of dredging in Gladstone Harbour by the Gladstone Port Corporation, showed no link between the dredging and "lesions" found in fish in the harbour. It did find that levels of aluminium, copper and chromium exceeded the safety guidelines at several sites in the harbour but these were not, "of significant environmental concern."

Meanwhile Gladstone fishers cannot sell their product.


G20 yachties view


France was honoured to chair the Group of Twenty last week in the movie resort town of Cannes. Established in 1999, G20 brings together major advanced and emerging economies to stabilize the global financial market and bring along a large entourage to chew the fat.

Our Whitsunday Coast Guardian reporter was on the job to file this exclusive story.

"Cannes. G20 summit. Security is really crazy. The boys aren't allowed to work out side the boat, must stay inside. NO marine movement anywhere except by various authorities. No fly zone. Military check points everywhere etc. Army on all the quays. LOADS of guys in all kind of uniform everywhere!! (Girls like that part). Unique to be here."


That Cup is on


Love it or hate it, The America's Cup World Series sails on San Diego Bay November 12-20. This is extreme experience; cutting-edge wing-sailed AC45 catamarans hitting speeds over 30-knots in short, sharp, intense races. No tame 12-metre yachts here.

Testing the abilities of the best sailing teams in the world on tight courses squeezed to ensure close action with a mix of fleet and match racing. Spectators will see the racing on one of the best natural harbours in North America, a natural amphitheatre for sailboat racing.


Last Post


Remembrance Day, Poppy Day, Armistice Day or Veterans Day - 11 hour 11/11/11


Proserpine River


Mariners are advised that the lighted Starboard Lateral Mark No.1 buoy Fl.G.3s temporarily established to mark the destroyed Starboard Lateral Mark No.1 beacon Fl.G.3s in the entrance to the Proserpine River, has been re-established. Navigate with caution.


Fair winds to Ye!

Cap'n Dan

Criminal marine environment litterbugs targeted

 Criminal marine environment litterbugs targeted


Marine Debris in the Great Barrier Reef was just one issue raised at the Local Marine Advisory Committee Chairs meeting held over the weekend in Townsville.

Local Marine Advisory Committees representing coastal areas from Torres Straight to the Sunshine Coast, reported strong concerns regarding marine debris, much of it plastic garbage, and found it was an issue in most areas.

Russell Reichelt, Chairman of the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority lead a discussion that focused on the leading work of the Whitsunday Eco Barge Clean Seas Inc operation and how to get increased funding support for this positive community operation.

While much rubbish is ship sourced, local government and land based litterbugs funnel garbage into the sea through stormwater and poorly controlled runoff.

Increasing levels of debris are being observed and recorded in areas of shipping 'parking areas' (mooring and anchoring) areas in contravention of state and international law especially the International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships, 1973, as modified by the Protocol of 1978 relating thereto (MARPOL 73/78) of the International Maritime Organization.

Issues noted included raising awareness, encouraging scientific surveys, industry and government survey info and that derived from Marine Park patrols. Encouraging public contributions of information to contribute to a knowledge base on the issue and creating a database through the Integrated Eye on the Reef and then regular reporting from the database to inform the public of status and trends.

The Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority is meeting with Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) and Maritime Safety Queensland this week as part of the GBR Shipping Management Group.

Items to target will be reducing incidence of debris, assess sources of debris and target information campaigns at those sources aiming at establishing a best practice regimes.

Fund raising for local action including clean up, awareness and working with operators dealing with shipping such as port NQ Bulk Ports and BMA and local councils and NRM bodies.


What's a Nurdle?


Nurdles, also known as mermaids' tears, are plastic pellets typically less than five millimetres in diameter, and are a major component of marine debris.


Ocean sailors clean up


Since the last day of 1988, it has been illegal for ships to dump plastics into the ocean.

The Volvo Ocean Race aims to raise awareness of the problem while voicing a call for everyone to help reduce pollution and share in a simple message through Keep the Oceans Clean!

Volvo Ocean Race Chief Executive Knut Frostad said the initiative is an opportunity to make a global difference.

'This is the project we have been searching for,' Frostad said. 'It has meaning to the race, the sailors and supporters, who all have the chance to make a real difference.

'The rubbish in the ocean is a concern for everyone and together we will raise awareness of this problem, engage adults and children and inspire them to be part of the solution.''

Frostad added that pollution was a sporting problem as well as an environmental one. "For Volvo Ocean Race sailors the rubbish not only pollutes their sporting arena but it can be problematic when they're racing because it can catch on the keel, rudder and daggerboards and slow down the boat,"




"I believe the technical term for this project is a shemozzle," says Australian defence strategist Andrew Davies. The A$600 million purchase of anti-submarine torpedoes from Europe took 12 years. Now that they have finally been delivered, military planners have found the user manuals are only available in Italian and French. Thus, the Australian Defence Materiel Organisation has advertised for technical translators, who have appropriate security clearances, to make the manuals readable to the people who need to integrate the weapons into naval vessels. That's expected to cost at least A$110,000 and add further delay.


Notice to Mariners


Proserpine River entrance - Mariners are advised that the lighted Starboard Lateral Mark No.1 buoy Fl.G.3s temporarily established in approximate position Latitude 20°30.65'S, Longitude 148°44.05'E to mark the destroyed Starboard Lateral Mark No.1 beacon Fl.G.3s in the entrance to the Proserpine River is off station. Mariners should use caution when navigating in the vicinity as remnants of the destroyed structure remain. AUS charts 252 & 824


Fair winds to Ye!

Cap'n Dan


Cap'n Dan is a regular broadcaster on ABC Radio Tropical North and 4MK



Remembering Keith Williams, CMG

Remembering Keith Williams, CMG


Like him or not, Keith Williams was one of those people who put everything on the line when he did something; and he did a lot!

Australian water ski champion from 1957 to 1960, Keith made water skiing popular in Australia. He went on to car racing, Sea World theme park, Hamilton Island, Port Hinchinbrook and a few other items along the way.

To say he was a pioneer of the tourism industry hardly does justice to this man of grand vision, ability and let it be said, cunning.

Keith bought Hamilton Island in 1975, building and operated it until 1996. After floating on the ASX, the Oatley family bought the island in 2003.

Hamilton Island Race Week started 1984, a regatta which stands today as Australia's premier yachting event. Too much fire when the resort burnt down and too much water when the regatta was nicknamed 'rain week'

Keith loved all the stuff of life and always had his toes if not feet over the line such as putting a big dozer on Dent Island cutting a road before he had the lease signed and is it true that pure white sand from Whitehaven Beach ended up on Hamilton Island?

While some stories cannot be told perhaps (yet?), some should be. Before the advent of the golf course, golf buggies were plenty of fun, racing, and parking in buildings, pools and even the harbour. Flags of various types got knocked off but watch out yachties if you got nabbed; the monocle clad Keith was not to be toyed with and invented the iconic island staff terminology 'NBO' - i.e., Next Boat Out; meaning you are fired or not desired! Those were the days.

Spray painting slogans on his speedboat 'Awesome' lead to the NBOing of perhaps the wrong person as an "I'm still here" graffiti appeared later.

Souveniring the carved wood Golden Plover barstool from the Bare Foot Bar lead to instant action by Keith leading to the crew returning the pirate flag draped bar stool 'coffin' in a mock funeral.

Golden Plover was usually alongside across Front Street from the bar and lots of mischief happened in that small area including up in the ship's rigging.

Stories are coming in so what about this quote, "Went pig shooting with Keith Williams in his helicopter, trying to shoot pigs with a Heckler and Koch machine gun."

Speaking on behalf of his family, son Ben Williams said details of a gathering to celebrate Keith's 82 years of life would be announced soon.


Divers left at sea


Tourists on a scuba diving trip off the coast of Key Biscayne, Florida surfaced after being diving for 55 minutes, to find four-foot swells and no dive boat. Paul Kline of Austin, Texas, and a diver from Spain said "We were in shock," realizing they were left behind miles offshore. The two men spotted a fishing buoy and held on for more than two hours until rescued by a passing yacht. When the captain of the dive boat was finally reached, he refused to answer questions about how he lost track of two men he was responsible for.

The boat operator was barraged by abusive phone calls, emails and social media messages calling the operator, captain and crew idiots and morons and said they hoped the stranded divers would sue and drive them out of business.

Another cheeky writer asked if his wife could be given the same "special treatment," saying he'd "like to leave her clinging to a buoy!" The US Coast Guard is investigating the incident.


Remarkable Remembrance Day


The RSL Airlie Beach Whitsunday Sub Branch advises that Remembrance Day service will commence at 1100 Friday November 11 and for those interested in unique numbers it will be the eleventh hour of 11/11/11. There will be a get together after. A bus will be provided to attend the Cenotaph. They could also use a driver for the day – details Bill Rose 49464486


Mariner notices


Bowen pilotage area - Mariners are advised that the Safe Water Mark N2 Iso 2s positioned latitude 20° 01.2680'S longitude 148° 16.9719'E has been reported unlit.

Bowen Boat Harbour - be advised that the port beacon in position latitude 20° 01.1776' S, longitude 148° 16.4022' E has been reported flashing irregular. Mariners are advised to navigate with caution. AUS chart 268.

Cape Edgecumbe to Abbot Point - Special light buoys, Fl.Y.5s, exist in positions marking scientific instruments. AUS chart 852


Fair winds to Ye!

Cap'n Dan


Cap'n Dan is a regular broadcaster on ABC Radio Tropical North and 4MK