Water Journal : Water Journal April 2015
14 Industry News water APRIL 2015 TWICE THE CORAL TROUT IN GREAT BARRIER REEF PROTECTED ZONES Coral trout in protected ‘green zones’ are not only bigger and more abundant than those in fished ‘blue zones’ of the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park, they are also better able to cope with cyclone damage, according to a long-term study published recently in Current Biology. Coral trout biomass has more than doubled since the 1980s in the green zones with most of the growth occurring since the 2004 rezoning. These and other changes identified by the study show that the green zones are contributing to the health of the Great Barrier Reef and that similar approaches may be beneficial for coral reefs around the world. The joint project between the Australian Institute of Marine Science and the ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies at James Cook University combined a vast amount of information from underwater surveys carried out from 1983–2012 on reefs spread across approximately 150,000km2 (more than 40 per cent) of the Marine Park. The Marine Park was rezoned in 2004, and marine reserves where fishing is prohibited (called ‘green zones’ because of their colour on the zoning maps), were expanded to cover about one-third of the total Park area. These zones previously made up less than five per cent of the Park. The study demonstrated that the Reef’s network of green zones is yielding wide-scale population increases for coral trout, the primary target species of both the commercial and recreational sectors of the hook-line fishery. It also found that reefs in green zones supported higher numbers of large, reproductively mature coral trout, even after being damaged by cyclones such as tropical cyclone Hamish, which hit the reef in 2009. The findings provide compelling evidence that effective protection within green zone networks can play a critical role in conserving marine biodiversity and enhancing the sustainability of targeted fish populations. INFRASTRUCTURE INNOVATION BLOOMS WITH SMART SEEDS Bright young minds across Australia and New Zealand are working together to develop new solutions to some of the most complex challenges facing cities. Smart Seeds is an annual innovation competition for young professionals focused on solving challenges in the infrastructure industry. Led by one of the world’s leading engineering, architecture, environmental and construction services companies, GHD, Smart Seeds has grown from its Melbourne roots to include young professionals throughout Australia and New Zealand. The competition draws together participants from a variety of private and public organisations across the water, energy and resources, transportation, property and building, and environment sectors. Supported by Engineers Australia, Bentley Systems and Innovation Interchange, Smart Seeds 2015 events are getting underway in Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane and New Zealand with regional supporters including Lend Lease, City of Melbourne, Metropolitan Planning Authority, Office of the Victorian Government Architect and Transport for NSW. Smart Seeds participants work in teams mentored by industry leaders to develop ideas to real-life infrastructure challenges, particularly around the topics of sustainability and liveability. The teams then present their concepts to an audience of industry representatives and a panel of judges at a showcase event in each participating region. Jeremy Stone, Group Manager Innovation at GHD, says, “Participants can look forward to learning new innovation skills that they can use to influence positive change in their workplaces. Skills like creative idea generation techniques, idea assessment, and pitching ideas to win support and progress to delivery. Supporters and audiences eagerly await fresh ideas to solve some of our trickiest infrastructure challenges.” Past winning ideas include a proposal for a floating, rotating bridge to improve pedestrian connectivity in Melbourne’s Victoria Harbour and a concept for temporary ‘pop up’ shops, galleries and meeting places to breathe life into disused and vacant urban sites.
Water Journal February 2015
Water and CSG