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Social-Ecological Systems Meta-Analysis Database: Component

SummaryThe governance system for the GABMP has been coded as the management plans (the first from 2000 – 2005, and the second, from 2005 – 2012). Commercial fishing (excluding demersal trawling) and recreational fishing are allowed within the GABMR. However, during May 1 and October 31, which is the southern right whales calving period in the area, non-commercial vessel access and all activities (scuba, fishing, etc) are prohibited in the Marine Mammal Protection Zone, including where it overlaps with the Benthic Protection Zone
SubtypeFormal Governance System
SectorMarine protected areas
Begin Date2000
ExplanationThe first management plan came into force on 17 May 2000
End Date2012
ExplanationThe second management plan being coded in this case expired on 16 May 2012, so the snapshot ends in 2012.
Governance ScaleState-based policy
ExplanationThe EPBC Act (1999) is the Australian Government key piece of national environmental legislation which provides for the preparation of management plans. The EPBC Act requires a management plan for a Commonwealth reserve
Governance System DescriptionManagement Plans (2000-2005, and 2005-2012).
ExplanationThe administration, management and control of the GABMP are the function of the Director of National Parks, a corporation under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999. The Director is responsible for preparing management plans for the reserve, which establish the framework to provide for the protection and conservation of the reserve, while describing how activities in the reserve will be managed. The management plan is an essential part of the regulation of the GABMP and it allows a range of uses of the Park that would otherwise be prohibited by the EPBC Act. Management Plans, once allowed by both Houses of Commonwealth Parliament, sets the prescriptions of what can and cannot happen within the MPA for a period of 5 - 7 years. The prescriptions are enforceable via relevant legislation.
Governance Triggerslow continuous change
ExplanationThe Park was declared for: the preservation of the area in its natural condition; and the encouragement and regulation of the appropriate use, appreciation and enjoyment of the area by the public.
Type Of Formal GovernanceManagement plan
Explanation2000-2005, and 2005-2012. The park is managed by the Director of National Parks in the Department of the Environment. The plan describes all activities allowed and the provisions in place to manage those activities.
Mpa Internal Natural BoundariesLow (1)
ExplanationThe MMPZ and the BPZ of the GABMP (CW) are not isolated by habitat boundaries. The MMPZ is adjacent to the South Australian GABMP (State) and extends from 3 nautical miles to approximately 12 nautical miles offshore and the BPZ is a 20 nautical miles wide zone that extends to the edge of Australia's Exclusive Economic Zone.
Mpa Migratory Life HistoryBreeding and foraging
ExplanationProvides undisturbed calving habitat for the southern right whale and foraging habitat for other migratory cetaceans, southern bluefin tuna, and birds
Mpa Threats To Migratory Sp["Habitat destruction", "Other"]
ExplanationThe direct threats to migratory species in the areas of the GABMP (CW) are: - Entanglement in marine debris or fishing and aquaculture equipment - Chemical Pollution - If petroleum exploration is initiated as planned for 2017 in the BPZ of the GABMP (CW), pollution from chemicals used in exploration drilling and petroleum production along with oil spills may present a threat to migratory species of the GAB. - Climate change - Modelling associated with global climate change predicts that there will be reduced productivity of Southern Ocean ecosystems and changes to climate and oceanographic processes may also lead to decreased productivity and different patterns of prey distribution and availability.There is also evidence that climate variability affects reproductive output in southern right whales calving in Australia (Leaper et al. 2006), with El Nino events being shown to lead to decreased calf production in a later year. A strong correlation has also been found between the number of right whale calves born and changes in sea-surface temperature, with calf output declining with an increase in water temperature (Leaper et al. 2006). - Physical injury and death from a ship strike - Acoustic pollution - from commercial and recreational vessel noise and seismic survey activity
Mpa ThreatsPetroleum exploration and extraction; Commercial fishing; Climate change
ExplanationPetroleum exploration and extraction - chemical and acoustic pollution, oil spills, acoustic, habitat destruction Commercial fishing - overfishing, habitat destruction, entangled of marine animals, ship strikes, by-catch Climate change - changes to productivity, climate and oceanographic processes
Governance Knowledge Use["Scientific knowledge", "Local/traditional knowledge"]
ExplanationScientific knowledge - Scientific knowledge on southern right whale and Australian sea lion habitat was used in the development of the MMPZ of the GABMP (CW). There was less known about the benthic flora and fauna of the GAB region at the time of Park designation but since then, at least 3 benthic surveys have been completed to learn more about the communities found inside and outside of the BPZ and to determine if this zone is representative sample of the GAB region. Scientific knowledge and local/traditional knowledge - A Steering Committee of Australian and South Australian government agencies guides the day-to-day management of the GABMP (CW). At the time of preparation of the 2005 - 2012 Management Plan, the committee consisted of representatives from both State and Commonwealth agencies (Australian Government Department of the Environment and Heritage, South Australian Department for Environment and Heritage, Primary Industries and Resources South Australia), municipal government (District Council of Ceduna), and fishery and tourism commissions (South Australian Tourism Commission, Australian Fisheries Management Authority). There is also a non-government Consultative Committee that advises the Australian and South Australian governments about management of the Great Australian Bight Marine Park. The Consultative Committee represents general community interests, Indigenous interests, commercial interests and scientific interests in the Park and the State Park and includes representatives of the petroleum and fishery industries, Indigenous peoples, scientists (SARDI, CSIRO and environmental non-government organizations (The Wilderness Society).
Pa Car PrinciplesPartially (2)
ExplanationCAR principles are well recognised in Australia and have been talked about regarding the GAB. However, in reality when this MPA was designated there was not enough knoweldge to know if the MPA was fulfilling these principles, so coded as partially. At the national level the goal of a "Comprehensive, Adequate and Representative System of Reserves" for Australia is endorsed by the Commonwealth and State and Territory Governments and the Australian Guidelines for Establishing the National Reserve System include information on processes used to work towards a comprehensive, adequate and representative system of reserves (Commonwealth of Australia, 1999). Although, there was a lack of information on the benthic communities of the GAB region at the time of the establishment of the GABMP (CW) and the location of the BPZ was not based on quantitative ecological data.
CentralizationSomewhat centralized (3)
ExplanationThe Director of National Parks is responsible under the EPBC Act for the administration, management and control of Commonwealth reserves and conservation zones. The Director is assisted in performing this function by the staff of Parks Australia. A Steering Committee of Australian and South Australian government agencies guides the day-to-day management of the Great Australian Bight Marine Park. However, the Director retains direct control of the Great Australian Bight Marine Park (Commonwealth Waters). At the time of preparation of the 2005 - 2012 Management Plan, the committee consisted of representatives from the following agencies: -Australian Government Department of the Environment and Heritage -South Australian Department for Environment and Heritage -Primary Industries and Resources South Australia District Council of Ceduna -South Australian Tourism Commission -Australian Fisheries Management Authority At the time of preparation of the 2005 - 2012 Plan, a non-government Consultative Committee advised the Australian and South Australian governments about management of the Great Australian Bight Marine Park. The Consultative Committee represents general community interests, Indigenous interests, commercial interests and scientific interests in the Park and the State Park. It is intended to broaden the Consultative Committee to include representatives of the petroleum industry.
Distance To MarketsBetween 100km-1000km (3)
ExplanationPort Lincoln is the largest nearby city and is home to the tuna fishing fleets of the GAB.
Horizontal Coordination 
Mpa Iucn Somewhat Strict Zones0 %
ExplanationNone of the GABMP (CW) is covered by the IUCN categories III and IV.
Mpa Iucn Sustainable Zones 100 %
ExplanationAll of the Park is IUCN VI. Commercial fishing is allowed in the majority of the Park
Mpa Budget113723 $US
ExplanationThis is the financial operating cost for the GABMP (CW) reported in the 2011 - 2012 State of the Parks Report. Operating costs include relevant annual business agreements, aerial surveillance and incident management. It excludes services provided by the Australian Fisheries Management Authority and the Australian Customs and Border Protection Service.
Mpa ConnectivityPartially (2)
ExplanationThe State marine mammal protection zone was considered in the design and implementation of Commonwealth marine mammal protection zone.
Mpa Migratory Threats And ReduxProtection of a key life-stage for the southern right whale
ExplanationThe MMPZ in the GABMP (CW) is 3,875 km2 and provides regulations to allow southern right whales to calve undisturbed.
Mpa Motivation["Ecological value"]
ExplanationThe Park was declared for two reasons: firstly, to complement the State Marine Park for the primary purpose of protecting the endangered southern right whale and rare Australian sea lion, and secondly, to preserve a representative strip of the unique seafloor (benthic) environment in line with the development of a National Representative System of Marine Protected Areas under Australia’s Oceans Policy.
Mpa Primary Goal (In Practice)["Species of conservation concern", "Protection of migratory species"]
ExplanationThe MMPZ of the GABMP (CW) was implemented to protect important calving grounds of the Endangered southern right whale along with the Australian sea lion, which is listed as Vulnerable. In this zone vessel traffic is prohibited during southern right whale calving, from May 1 - October 31. Recreatioinal activities and commercial fishing is permitted in this zone during the remainder of the year but demersal trawling and mining activities (including exploration activities) are not. The BPZ of the GABMP (CW) was implemented to protect a sample of the unique benthic flora and fauna and sediments that are found in the GAB region. Even though this is an aim of the management plan, mining activities (including exploration activities) are permitted in this zone. The management plan for the GABMP (CW) indicates that activities in this zone will be considered on a case by case basis and stringent conditions will be imposed, by which companies must demonstrate that their activities will not compromise or threaten the conservation values being protected in the GABMP (CW). Currently there are 5 exploration acreages located around or in the BPZ of the GABMP (CW) and drilling of exploration wells is planned to start in 2017. This may impact the biodiversity of the benthic flora and fauna and acoustic disturbance generated from seismic exploration may impact cetaceans in the GABMP (CW).
Mpa Protection["Protecting key life history stage(s)", "Reducing threats"]
ExplanationThe Marine Mammal Protection Zone (MMPZ) provides protection particularly for the southern right whale and Australian sea lion by: -Closing the MMPZ to all vessel access from May 1 - October 31 every year, a key time for southern right whale calving -Requiring a permit for commercial fishing outside of the seasonal closure. -Prohibiting mining activities (including seismic surveys) Considerations for the granting of permits for commercial activities, while focusing primarily on potential impacts on the values for which the Park was declared, will also consider broader biodiversity conservation issues and species for which the Commonwealth has national and international responsibilities In the Benthic Protection Zone (BPZ) there are to be no activities that adversely impact on the benthos, the subsoil beneath the benthos or associated flora and fauna. Demersal trawl fishing is not allowed, but other commercial fishing is allowed in accordance with a permit, and application for mineral exploration and extraction activities may be considered for approval by the Director of National Parks. Approval of mineral activities are also required from the Governor-General.
Metric DiversityHigh: Many metrics for success (3)
ExplanationThe Plan of Management is written to conform to the Australia and New Zealand Environment and Conservation Council (ANZECC) best practice model for performance reporting in natural resource management (ANZECC 1997) with an emphasis on measurable performance indicators, targets and monitoring. The Plan of Management is a statutory document intended to be in force for a long period of time, so therefore, the performance assessment details are to be presented in a separate document to allow for new knowledge and feedback to management during the duration of the Plan. Wherever possible, the research requirements are to be closely linked to the performance assessment requirements of the Park. Criteria and Priorities for the GABMP Performance Indicators are outlined in the 2000 - 2005 Management Plan with primary goals for each protection zone and the whole park along with possible research and performance assessment priorities. In the 2005 - 2012 Management Plan, a Performance Assessment Framework was developed by the Director of National Parks that consists of seven Key Result Areas and sets out prescriptions on how each one will be managed.
Pa Iucn Strict Zones0 %
ExplanationThe whole Park is IUCN Category VI 'managed resource protected area'
Social Ecological FitMedium (2)
ExplanationThe institutional arrangement of this governance system recognizes the various habitat requirements that are associated with the species it aims to protect and conserve. However, both zones (MMPZ and the BPZ) are multiple use zones (IUCN Category VI) and permit activities that may negatively impact the species and habitat the system is designed to protect and the governance system does not match the spatial distribution of migratory species in the GABMP (CW).
Mpa Migratory BenefitYes
ExplanationA large portion of the population of southern right whales migrate through the GABMP (CW) to the near shore waters of southern Australian at the Head of Bight to calve and nurse their young (Burnell and Bryden 1997; Burnell 1999; Bannister et al. 1999). The Marine Mammal Protection Zone (MMPZ) of the GABMP (CW) was established to complement the State Marine Park for the purposes of providing undisturbed calving habitat for the southern right whale from May 1 - October 31 and to protect Australian sea lion colonies. From May 1 - October 31, vessels in the MMPZ are prohibited and aircrafts must follow speed and proximity regulations. Other migratory species that utilize habitat in this zone would also benefit from these regulations. According to the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation (EPBC) Act Protected Matters Search Tool there are 22 threatened species and 27 migratory species (dolphin, turtles, fish, birds) that may occur in the area (Pinzone 2013). These species would be subject to potential anthropogenic pressures such as commercial fishing, pollution, ship strikes, entanglement, and petroleum exploration and would also benefit from GABMP (CW) regulations that address these pressures.
Governance System Spatial Extent19395
ExplanationThe GABMP = 19,395 km2