Local Reefs, Islands and Fitzroy River

Local reefs, islands and the Fitzroy River were valued by two community stakeholder groups; tourism/dive operators and spear/recreational fishers. The success of both strategies are dependent on community education and citizen science initiatives by Reef users.  

Proposed strategies:

  • Engagement and education program for Reef users
  • Engagement and education program to increase sustainable fishing practices

Result from reduction of identified threat:

Both community stakeholder groups expressed concern that a key pressure to the Reef’s health was a lack of stewardship and that there was scope to increase this amongst local young people, in particular, by providing an opportunity for them to experience the Reef first hand.

Increased Reef stewardship and increased sustainable fishing practices are desired results of these two complementary projects. There are clear synergies between the two strategies but also differences in the actions and intended outcomes.

Engagement and Education Program to Increase Reef Stewardship

Tourism/dive operators ultimately want to see all Reef users – including students, tourists and the local community – having a deeper understanding of the Reef’s values. As such, their strategy includes:

  • targeted educational and promotional programs to increase Reef stewardship
  • Increasing engagement of visitors in citizen science programs, e.g. ‘Eye on the Reef’
  • Increasing interpretive signage at key departure points
  • Increasing the diversity of reef-based attractions and activities including edu-tourism

Engagement and Education Program to Increase Sustainable Fishing Practices

Spear/recreational fishers emphasised the need to see a decrease in anchor damage to the Reef and reduced offences (illegal fishing, overfishing, fishing debris) in the Keppel Islands through a strategic educational approach. By launching a local engagement and education program for Reef users to combat these impacts, the ultimate result would be educated fishers valuing and protecting local reefs through an increase in sustainable fishing practices.

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Engagement and Education Program to Increase Reef Stewardship Road Map
Engagement and Educational Program to Increase Sustainable Fishing Practices Road Map
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The Capricorn Coast Reef Community Action Plan project is funded by the partnership between the Australian Government’s Reef Trust and the Great Barrier Reef Foundation with support from Capricornia Catchments and Fitzroy Basin Association.