Boat Strike Control Project

Boat Strike Control Project

 

Protecting large marine animals from boat strikes in Moreton Bay.

 

two dolphinsSaving marine animals in Moreton Bay.     Healthy Land & Water’s Boat strike control project is designed to conserve large marine animals in Quandamooka (Moreton Bay).

This conservation project was borne from a need to understand the impact of vessel strikes in the Quandamooka people’s Sea Country or Yarabindjara.

Activities include a feasibility study to investigate options for reducing the impact of vessel strikes and improving conservation outcomes for large marine animals, some of which are threatened species.

 

The project focused on:

  • Quandamooka Yoolooburrabee Aboriginal Corporation is working with work with state agencies and research institutions to devise a plan and methodology to reduce boat strikes in Moreton Bay.
  • Assessing the impact of boat strikes on large marine animals within the project area and investigating the feasibility of various mitigation measures.
  • Informing policy and planning to reduce boat strikes at key locations within the waters of Yarabindjara, Quandamooka Sea Country, and Moreton Bay.

 

What we are doing

Dugong This project is protecting large marine animals from boat strikes. Dugongs are at high risk of boat strikes because they spend a lot of time resting and feeding near the surface.

This project is part of a broader set of projects under funding from the Australian Government's National Landcare Program to reduce threats to and preserve Moreton Bay Ramsar. The activities for Boat Strike Control, involve: 

  • Improving our understanding of the impact of boat strikes on large marine animals in Quandamooka (Moreton Bay).
  • Identifying and investigating the feasibility of mitigation measures to reduce the impact of boat strikes on at-risk marine fauna, including threatened species.
  • Informing policy and planning to improve conservation outcomes

 

Measuring success

As a result, the following was achieved:

  • Review existing data and reports to assess the reported number of large marine animals being impacted within Moreton Bay.
  • Mapping of vessel interaction incidents with large marine animals in Moreton Bay.
  • Assessment of risk of collision based on animal behaviour and habitat. Consultation with key experts and management agencies.
  • Investigation of the feasibility of mitigation measures, including an ‘early warning’ buoy monitoring network to alert nearby vessels of the presence of key species, a Working Group for Sea Country Management to improve stakeholder awareness and participation, and an education and engagement strategy targeting the broader SEQ marine community.
  • Assessing policy frameworks such as the Quandamooka People’s native title determinations, state legislation such as the Nature Conservation (Animals) Regulation (2020), and Marine Parks (Moreton Bay) Zoning Plan (2014) and QYAC’s guiding principles for stewardship.
  • Assessing limitations and constraints around compliance with legislative obligations, enforcement, and data availability and quality.
  • Assessing the capacity and capability of the Government to manage and respond to incidents (both proactively and reactively).

 

Why this project is important

Vessel collision is a recognised threat to air-breathing marine fauna. The impact from a boat hull or outboard motor, or cuts from a propeller can kill or severely injure the animals.

The risk of vessel collision is higher for species residing in shallow coastal waters that are regularly used by commercial and recreational vessels, such as Moreton Bay.

The Moreton Bay Ramsar area and adjoining waters have one of the highest diversities of cetacean species in Australia as well as being a critical feeding ground for six of the world’s seven species of marine turtles. It is also a resting spot for migrating whales.

It is the southernmost extent of the distribution range for dugongs and is home to two resident species of dolphin.

Boat strike is a recorded cause of injury and mortality for many marine fauna listed under the Commonwealth Environmental Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999.

  

Project snapshot

Project name:  Boat Strike Control Project
Project manager:  Karen Toms, Healthy Land & Water
Catchment:  Moreton Bay
Timing: 2019
Budget:  
Partnerships: 

This project was a collaboration between the Quandamooka Yoolooburrabee Aboriginal Corporation and Healthy Land and Water with funding support through the Australian Government’s National Landcare Program.
Other key project collaborators include The University of Queensland, Griffith University, the Department of Environment and Science, and the Moreton Bay Marine Megafauna-Shipping Interactions Consortium.

Related Articles:

 

What's next

There is huge potential to build on the successful work.

 

Project collaborators

This project is a collaboration between the Quandamooka Yoolooburrabee Aboriginal Corporation and Healthy Land & Water with funding support through the Australian Government’s National Landcare Program.

Other key project collaborators include The University of Queensland, Griffith University, the Department of Environment and Science, and the Moreton Bay Marine Megafauna-Shipping Interactions Consortium.

 Australian Government NLP              quandamooka people qyac logo        

 

 

 university of queensland uq logo     griffith university logo

 

Queensland Government logo