Ship anchorage management in the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area: Synthesis report, July 2013

GHD, 2013

About this report

The Department of Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities and the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority commissioned GHD Pty Ltd to undertake a study on Anchorage Management in the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area.

The study provides analysis and information to inform future anchorage management at the five major ports (Ports of Cairns, Townsville, Gladstone, Abbot Point, Hay Point) in the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area.

The study assesses the environmental, social, cultural and heritage impacts from current use of the anchorages and identifies environmental management strategies for future ship anchorage use in the Great Barrier Reef. The environmental management strategies were informed by an understanding of the environmental impacts, risks, costs and benefits of ship anchorages adjacent to main ports operating in the Great Barrier Reef under current and estimated future anchorage demand and included recommendations for improved management.

The environmental ship anchorage management strategy and the underpinning actions are driven by an overarching objective to minimise environmental and social impacts associated with anchorage use while maintaining efficient port operation. The strategy, therefore, provides for improvements in environmental management of the existing port anchorages which also realise social benefits.