NQBP: Abbot Point Long Term Monitoring Report (Australia)

Abbot Point Long Term Monitoring Report

North Queensland Bulk Ports Corporation (NQBP) is the organisation responsible for managing and monitoring Abbot Point’s port environment, and they have recognised that seagrasses are an important and sensitive component of marine habitats within the port and are committed to monitoring and maintaining the health of these habitats.

The baseline assessments and experimental program at Abbot Point were then used to establish a longer term monitoring program to aid in the management of port development and dredge-related impacts, and to assess the long-term condition and trend of this fisheries habitat. Results from baseline surveys and consultation with port users culminated in the selection in nine areas for monitoring: five coastal meadows and four offshore meadows.

These monitoring areas represent the range of seagrass communities within the port and include meadows considered most likely to be impacted by port activity and development, as well as areas unlikely to be impacted by port development, to assist in separating out port related versus regional causes of seagrass change detected in the monitoring program.

Quarterly monitoring of seagrass habitat within the port has continued since 2008.

The objectives of the long-term seagrass monitoring program at Abbot Point are:

1. Compare results of baseline and seasonal monitoring events to assess any changes in seagrass distribution and abundance in relation to natural events or anthropogenic activities;

2. Relate changes measured in seagrass meadows to light and temperature data collected;

3. Discuss the implications of monitoring results for overall health of the Port of Abbot Point’s marine environment and provide advice to relevant management agencies.

This report summarises the results of the coastal and deep water seagrass monitoring program conducted between September 2011 and September 2012, as well as light (PAR) and temperature measurements at the Port of Abbot Point.

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Press Release, July 2, 2013