PROJECT: ABOVE AND BELOW THE HIGH TIDE MARK 

We champion a "whole of islands" approach focused on the whole ecosystem, including the marine.  The HAI National Park was gazetted to include islands above the high tide mark, excluding areas managed by body corporates (currently) for fishing related activities. 

Our "whole of islands " approach focuses on all island groups, islands, reef platforms and surrounding deep water.

  • We advocate a zoning system for islands (i.e. conservation and visitor managed sites, seasonal closures), along with marine protected areas to manage recreational and tourism activities. Marine buffer zones could protect seasonally, sensitive seabird colonies from water-based disturbances, such as jet skis and kite surfers. 

  • We want tor retain the sense of rawness and isolation, an increasingly scarce commodity globally. 

We aim to understand visitor use patterns, identify visitor needs and manage potential impacts

  • We acknowledge that recreational activities and tourism is already occurring.  We need to understand and meet current user needs to mitigate potential impacts in all three islands groups.

  • Currently, every mooring is an unregulated tourism node. 

  • We hope to develop a voluntary code of conduct to allow visitors to make better decisions and minimise their own impacts in a remote location, difficult to police

  • We promote low key infrastructure based on user needs to mitigate potential environmental impacts - such as low-key, marine grade boardwalks and appropriately placed and visitor managed moorings.   

  • Currently, tourism operators would like additional moorings to protect benthic habitat and be more sustainable. 

  • Cruise ship visits should be well regulated and a no anchor policy adopted to encourage the use of dynamic positioning only or a suitable mooring should be provided.

 

Cumulative impacts need to be understood

  • A "go to site" for all proposed developments at the islands for the community to be able to comment and gauge cumulative impacts.

  • The islands sense of rawness and isolation should be retained, as this is rapidly becoming a rare commodity globally and in itself a tourism attraction or asset.  People from overdeveloped locations crave this.... whilst we still hunger for "development", which may fail to appeal to our target demographic and deliver more of the "same".  

 

Island and reef health needs to be monitored 

  • We advocate for the establishment of transparent, publicly accessible monitoring systems to gauge the health of the islands and reef - to gauge potential impacts of visitors and other activities such as caged finfish aquaculture.

  • A "go to site" tracking island and reef health - transparently displaying monitoring results for anyone to see.

nicolas hess
photography

AIM NO

1

VISITOR MANAGED ISLANDS

WHY IMPROVING THE MOORING SYSTEM WOULD MAKE A DIFFERENCE?

Moorings  provide a safe place to "park a boat" and explore.  Every public mooring is a currently unregulated recreational node, which can impact on the fauna & flora of the islands and reef.  Moorings can protect benthic habitat from anchor damage.  Tourism operators would like more commercial moorings and not enough public moorings are available during peak visitor times (Easter and ANZAC day).  Moorings need to be place in suitable, visitor managed sites, with systems in place to track visitor impacts.   

LET'S ENJOY IN A SMART WAY.