$124 mi Reef Authority Funding Boost for Townsville
Australia’s lead management agency for the Great Barrier Reef will receive a $124 million funding boost over the next 10 years from the Turnbull Government. The funding commitment for the Townsville-based Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority is great news for the North Queensland region and Townsville, and follows the signing of Australia’s first City Deal for Townsville earlier this month. Frydenberg said the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority, which has been managing this acclaimed World Heritage Area for more than 40 years…
Great Barrier Reef Kept Off UNESCO 'Danger' List
A heritage committee of the UNESCO cultural agency stopped short of placing Australia's Great Barrier Reef on an "in danger" list, but the ruling on Friday raised long-term concerns about its future. The long-awaited ruling by UNESCO's World Heritage Committee welcomed Australian efforts to maintain the environmentally sensitive region but noted its outlook was "poor" and called on the government to stick rigidly to commitments to protect it. "Climate change, poor water quality and impacts from coastal development are major threats to the property's health...…
Disabled Bulker Arrives Safely in Cairns
The ID Integrity lost propulsion power last Friday, about 65 nautical miles east of the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park boundary and drifted towards Shark Reef until reached by tug boats on Monday morning and taken in tow to Cairns, reports Ninemsn. "No pollution or injuries to the crew were sustained during the incident, and there was no damage to either Shark Reef or the Great Barrier Reef," the company said in a statement. The company said it would investigate the breakdown. The incident sparked new calls for tougher regulation of ships in the Great Barrier Reef area. Maritime Union of Australia National Secretary Paddy Crumlin said increased sea traffic put the reef in danger."Accidents like the Shen Neng ...
Great Barrier Reef Eco-Outlook 'Poor'
A report from Australia's Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority finds the greatest risks to the Reef are still climate change, land-based run-off, coastal development, some remaining impacts of fishing and illegal fishing and poaching. Even with the recent management initiatives to reduce threats and improve resilience, the overall outlook for the Great Barrier Reef is poor, has worsened since 2009 and is expected to further deteriorate, the reports says. The report, published every five years…
$45 mln to bolster Reef Protection
The Australian and Queensland Governments are investing $45 million in an Australian first to improve water quality and reduce sediment run-off across the Great Barrier Reef. The $45 million Great Barrier Reef Gully and Streambank Joint Program will deliver a cohesive program of restoration work in key catchments including Burdekin, Fitzroy and Cape York. The joint program between government, the private sector, research institutions and conservations groups includes scientific investigation to understand the nature of gullies and the restorative activities required to fix them.
Taiwanese Captain Arrested in Australia
The Australian Federal Police have arrested the captain of a Chinese coal ship -China Steel Developer- for sailing through part of the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park without a pilot. Sources said that the captain — a Taiwanese national by the name of Lu — will plead guilty to a charge of being the master of a ship without a pilot in the marine park, an offence that carries a maximum fine of $85,000. It is alleged that the vessel sailed through Hydrographers Passage near Mackay on New Year’s Day without a pilot, as required by Australian law.
Bulk Carrier Dumped Garbage in Marine Park
Bulk carrier 'Pantanal' owners & master fined for dumping food waste near Australia's Great Barrier Reef The master and owner of a ship that dumped garbage in the Great Barrier Reef marine park have been fined according to a Ninemsn Both pleaded guilty in the Townsville Magistrates Court to illegally dumping food waste from the Antiguan bulk carrier Pantanal in the park in July last year. The ship's master was fined $500, while the owner was fined $5000. Convictions were recorded against both men.
Adani, GVK Get Oz Nod for Port Expansion
The Government of Australia has cleared project proposals to expand a port for two coal projects of both Adani Enterprises and GVK Hancock opposed by green groups. The Labor government in Queensland will allow mining companies Adani and GVK to dredge in Great Barrier Reef waters to expand a coal port but will make them pay for it themselves. "The Queensland Government is restarting the approvals process for expanding the Abbot Point coal terminal in north Queensland in a bid to keep dredge spoil away from both the Great Barrier Reef and nearby wetlands," says an official statement.
Bulk Carrier Detained; Two Crew Convicted
A Hong Kong flagged vessel was detained in Queensland following a Port State Control (PSC) inspection conducted by the Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) which identified a number of deficiencies. MV Bulk Ingenuity was detained under the Navigation Act 2012 for failing to carry relevant nautical charts and publications as required under international shipping convention and failing to prepare a voyage plan taking into account the Designated Shipping Area (DSA) of the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park on a voyage from China to Abbot Point. AMSA inspected the vessel following the detection of the vessel by the Great Barrier Reef and Torres Strait Vessel Traffic Service (REEFVTS)…
This Day in Naval History – Jan. 2
1969 - Operation Barrier Reef began in Mekong Delta, Vietnam (Source: Navy News Service)
Saab's Maritime Solution Protecting Great Barrier Reef
As one of the wonders of the natural world, many consider the Great Barrier Reef one of the Earth’s most beautiful places. The marine environment in the area is extremely sensitive and with around 4000 commercial vessels passing every year, it is important for the vessel services operators working onshore to keep track of the traffic at all times. That’s where Saab comes in. Comprising nearly 3000 individual reefs and almost 100 islands, the Great Barrier Reef is the world’s largest coral reef system.
AMSA Prosecutes Shipping Cos, Masters for Pollution
The Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) has prosecuted two shipping companies and their masters for two separate marine pollution incidents within the Great Barrier Reef. Tokyo based Perses Maritima Ltd and the master of its Japan registered vehicle carrier Asteria Leader were found guilty on May 18 in the Brisbane Magistrates Court on one charge each of illegally discharging garbage under the Protection of the Sea (Prevention of Pollution from Ships) Act 1983. A routine…
Shippers Prosecuted for Garbage Dumping
Two shipping companies and their masters have been prosecuted by the Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) for two separate marine pollution incidents within the Great Barrier Reef. Tokyo based Perses Maritima Ltd and the master of its Japan registered vehicle carrier Asteria Leader were found guilty on May 18 in the Brisbane Magistrates Court on one charge each of illegally discharging garbage under the Protection of the Sea (Prevention of Pollution from Ships) Act 1983.
Australia Probes Coal Spill near Great Barrier Reef
Coal has washed up in waters dangerously close to Australia's Great Barrier Reef, environmental authorities said on Wednesday, following an investigation into complaints of black dust on nearby beaches. Ship-loading facilities at the port of Hay Point, which ships tens of millions of tonnes of coal annually to export markets worldwide, are at the centre of the investigation by authorities in the northeastern state of Queensland. But it was too early to say if the Hay Point port was the source of the coal and fine dust that washed up on the nearby beaches of East Point and Louisa Creek…
Australia Arrests Ship's Master
Australian Federal Police (AFP) agents have arrested a ships Master in Gladstone following allegations that he had operated a ship in a protected zone within the Great Barrier Reef. On April 12, 2004, a private vessel operator allegedly saw the ship in the protected zone and reported it to Gladstone Vessel Traffic Service. The Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority (GBRMPA) was alerted to the sighting and they in turn advised the AFP. About 2:00 pm on April 14, federal agents and GBRMPA officers boarded the 17,000 ton bulk alumina carrier when it berthed at Gladstone. Federal agents will allege the ship was operated in the Capricorn Bunker Group area between Fitzroy Reef and Lamont Reef on or about 12 April 2004. The particular area of ocean is zoned General Use 'B'.
Belize Court Stymies Offshore Drilling Plans
Belize's Supreme Court declared offshore drilling contracts issued by the Government of Belize (in 2004 and 2007) null and void. The ruling, handed down by Justice Oswell Legall , was in response to a case brought by Oceana, COLA, and the Belize Coalition to Save Our Natural Heritage. It effectively ends the Belizean government's immediate effort to allow offshore oil drilling in the Meso American Reef, the second largest barrier reef in the world. The court overturned the contracts after determining that the government failed to assess the environmental impact on Belize's ocean, as required by law, prior to issuing the contracts. The court also found that contracts were made to companies that did not demonstrate a proven ability to contribute the necessary funds…
Australian Coal Port $10-bln Extension Shelved
A proposed $10 billion Australian coal port expansion, one of two port expansions planned near the Great Barrier Reef, was shelved by its sponsors on Friday who pointed to a lack of demand for the extra capacity. The Dudgeon Point coal terminal project, designed to handle 180 million tonnes a year, was withdrawn on Friday ahead of a deadline for submitting all the studies for its application for environmental approval. The decision came in the wake of a slide in coal prices to five-year lows that has forced miners, led by BHP Billiton Ltd and Glencore, to cancel coal projects, shut mines and sack thousands of workers. The two-terminal…
Queensland's Ports Strategy
The Queensland Ports Strategy to protect the Great Barrier Reef, grow jobs and sustainably develop the state's port network was released yesterday. According to Deputy Premier and Minister for State Development, Infrastructure and Planning Jeff Seeney, the strategy outlines 18 actions that will provide a rigorous, systematic approach to balance economic development with protection of the environment. Central to the strategy is the establishment of five Priority Port Development Areas for the ports of Townsville, Abbot Point, Hay Point and Mackay, Gladstone and Brisbane. For the next decade, the Queensland Government will prohibit dredging within or adjoining the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area for the development of new…
Australian Federal Police Charge Ships Master
Federal Agents last night charged the master of a Greek registered vessel with entering a prohibited area of the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park. This is the first instance of a person being prosecuted under this environmental legislation since it came into effect on July 19, 2001. The AFP, assisted by GBRMPA and Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service offices, commenced an investigation into the allegations surrounding the vessel's movements on 9 January. The 70000 tonne bulk coal carrier is alleged to have travelled through an area of the GBRMP from which it was excluded. The 45 year old ship's master appeared in the Gladstone Magistrate' court earlier today to face charges under section 38M(2) of the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Act.
U.S., Australian Navies Locate Bombs
The Royal Australian Navy (RAN), in conjunction with the U.S. Navy (USN), has successfully located four unexploded bombs dropped by USN Harrier aircraft in the lead up to Exercise Talisman Saber on July 16, 2013. The RAN and USN are now working together to retrieve the ordnance. The Royal Australian Navy minehunter HMAS Gascoyne located all the ordnance on August 16, 2013. The USN and the RAN confirmed the coordinates of the ordnance through survey operations earlier this week and are currently working with the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority to commence the recovery of the ordnance. RAN Chief of Joint Operations, Lieutenant General Ash Power, said the ordnance was found in a challenging underwater environment using HMAS Gascoyne’s variable depth sonar.
Accident Investigation Begins
The Australian Transport Safety Board (ATSB) issued its investigation report into the collision between the bulk carrier Bunga Orkid Tiga and the fishing vessel Stella VII near Creech Reef in the Great Barrier Reef on 5 January 2004. The report attributes the collision to the failure of both vessels to maintain a proper lookout. There was no loss of life, but the fishing vessel incurred substantial damage. Report No. 199 (HK Law).
Ocean Emperor Drifts toward Great Barrier Reef
As of July 27, 11.45 a.m., the Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) is coordinating a maritime casualty response in the Coral Sea for the fully loaded bulk coal carrier Ocean Emperor, in liaison with Maritime Safety Queensland and the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority. The Ocean Emperor is currently situated approximately 130 kilometres east of Cooktown off the outer Great Barrier Reef, and is drifting slowly westwards towards the reef. As the ship has broken down and drifted several times over the last few weeks, she was being escorted out of the Australian Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) by the tug PB Karori. The ship most recently broke down north east of Bougainville Reef at 2:00am (AEST) Monday 26 July.
Satellites to Automate Ship Reporting
Ships transiting the Great Barrier Reef are being urged to participate in a world-leading automated ship reporting trial starting tomorrow. The Australian Maritime Safety Authority in conjunction with Maritime Safety Queensland is calling for ships that sail through the Reef to take part in the trial, which will use INMARSAT-C – a global satellite communications network – to provide a near-real time picture of shipping activity in the region. There are about 6000 ship movements through the GBR each year. The INMARSAT-C terminals on ships participating in the voluntary trial will be remotely programmed to send automated position reports every 15 minutes to REEFCENTRE – the ship reporting base at Hay Point, near Mackay. Ships will not incur any costs associated with this trial.