Office Hour on the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority

Thursday, February 7, at 5 pm US EDT / 2 pm US PDT / 10 pm GMT (In Australia, this will be Friday, February 8, at 8 am Australian EST)

The EBM Tools Network and OpenChannels are pleased to announce a live “office hour” chat with Jon Day, Director of Planning, Heritage and Sustainable Funding with the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority. Office hour chats provide an opportunity for participants to ask panelists questions as well as share their own experiences and insights with panelists and other participants. Jon Day will answer questions on zoning of the Great Barrier Reef as well as other issues of relevance to the GBR. All audience members are strongly encouraged to read the draft paper “Clarifying 10 Key Misunderstandings about Zoning in the Great Barrier Reef” before participating in the chat.

More about the Office Hour: This office hour is a live online "chat" conducted by typing and reading text. There is no audio component. All participants are able (and encouraged) to post, and all participants are able to view all posts (i.e. nothing is confidential). These chats are an opportunity for multi-directional flow of information. However, the moderator will delete any inappropriate content including posts that contain inappropriate language and posts that do not pertain to the topic. Participants are encouraged to be frank but to elaborate on and substantiate all praise and criticism. You do not need to be logged into the OpenChannels site to participate in the chat, but you are encouraged to create a user account and log in so you do not need to type your name in every post.

If you would like to reply to a post, please click the "reply" button and fill-in your comment in the new comment box, this will be included just below the comment you wish to reply to.

The chat is now closed.


We saw this comment on the "Clarifying 10 Key Misunderstandings" document, so I'm going to post it over here. Thanks for submitting this, Josh!: "Fine work, as always. Great to see the quantitative evidence of ecosystem benefits resulting from the zoning changes. One question: how has stakeholder support changed? One of the misconceptions of MPAs and parks tends to be that zoning and conservation is bad for park users. Are there any data on changes in support over time from key users, like the fishing industry? If so, would be great to see included (though '11 misconceptions' has less of a symmetry than '10'!)."

Yes, stakeholder support has definitely changed. While a small number of users, including some fishers, have maintained their long-standing opposition, many others including both commercial and recreational fishers, now recognise the benefits of the no-take (green) zones. This has been helped by recent research which gives definitive evidence of the spill over from Green zones into the adjacent fished zones. No definitive data yet on the changes re support, but certainly the overall community view is positive

Researchers at James Cook Uni have published various papers on this; including: Harrison, HB et al. (2012). Larval export from marine reserves and the recruitment benefit for fish and fisheries. Current Biology. 22(11): 1023-1028; see also Russ GR et al. (2008). Rapid Increase in Fish Numbers Follows Creation of World’s Largest Marine Reserve Network. Current Biology Vol 18 (12).

Hi Jon. Thanks for the paper on misconceptions re: zoning of the GBR, it was very informative. I had a question regarding zone objectives. How did GBRMPA set up the objectives for the zones and what stakeholders were involved? Thanks

The zone objectives effectively came from wording in the GBRMP Act 1975 which stipulated there were to be different zones and the sorts of things they were to achieve. However over successive zoning plans, the wording of the objectives has been amended - as have the names of some of the zones.