Torres Strait Baseline Study

In July 1989 the Australian Government funded a four year environmental study of the Torres Strait marine environment. This study, the Torres Strait Baseline Study, was instigated in response to concerns expressed by Torres Strait Islanders, commercial fishermen and scientists about possible effects on the marine environment of the Torres Strait from mining operations in the Fly River catchment area of Papua New Guinea.

This article is a collection of publications and data associated with this study.

Torres Strait Baseline Study Conference (Nov 1990)

Torres Strait Baseline Conference ProceedingsAs part of this study a conference was run on the physical, biological and human environments of the Torres Strait region in November 1990. The full proceedings of this conference are from the GBRMPA Workshop Series 16. At this conference the following papers were presented:

Full Proceedings

Keynote Address

  1. Sustainable Development for Traditional Inhabitants of the Torres Strait Region. Graeme Kelleher, Chairman Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority

Physical Environment of the Torres Strait Region

  1. Planning & Management of the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park. Wendy Craik Planning & Management, Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority
  2. The Impacts of Projected Climate Change on Coastal Land Use in Papua New Guinea. Marjorie Sullivan Department of Sociology, University of Papua New Guinea
  3. Sedimentation at the Juncture of the Fly River Delta and Northern Great Barrier Reef. Peter T Harris Ocean Sciences Institute, University of Sydney
  4. Copper and Zinc Distribution in the Sediments of the Fly River Delta and Torres Strait. Elaine K Baker Ocean Sciences Institute, University of Sydney
  5. Environmental Investigations on the Effects of the Ok Tedi Copper Mine in the Fly River System. A Murray Eagle and Roger J Higgins Ok Tedi Mining Limited
  6. Staged Development and Environmental Management of the Porgera Gold Mine in Papua New Guinea. Charles W Ross Porgera Joint Venture
  7. A Review of the Physical Oceanography of Torres Strait. Eric Wolanski Australian Institute of Marine Science
  8. South Pacific Regional Environmental Program Marine Coastal Pollution Study SPREP-POL). Nicholas A Currey and Walter I Benko, National Analysis Laboratory Papua New Guinea University of Technology
  9. Australian and Some International Food Standards for Heavy Metals. George Rayment, AgricuIturaI Chemistry Branch Queensland Department of Primary Industries & Fisheries
  10. Processes Influencing the Fate of Trace Metals in Torres Strait: A Review of Current Data and Concepts. T David Waite and Ron Szymczak Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation

Biological Environment of the Torres Strait Region

  1. The Status of the Dugong in Torres Strait. Helene Marsh and Keith Saafeld Zoology Department, James Cook University of North Queensland
  2. A Review of Queensland Department of Primary Industries & Fisheries’ Research on Commercial Prawn Species in Tones Strait. Clive Turnbull Fisheries Branch, Queensland Department of Primary Industries & Fisheries
  3. Biological Oceanographic Measurements in the Torres Strait and Far Northern Great Barrier Reef. Miles J Furnas Australian Institute of Marine Science
  4. Torres Strait Marine Turtle Resources. Jeffrey D Miller and Col J Limpus Queensland National Parks and Wildlife Service
  5. Ciguatoxin in the Marine Biota as a Model for the Movement of Metals. Michael F Capra, Andrew W Flowers and Scott T Hahn School of Life Sciences, Queensland University of Technology
  6. Australia’s Fisheries Research in the Torres Strait. Protected Zone. Geofi C Williams and Derek J Staples Bureau of Rural Resources
  7. The Artisanal Turtle Fishery in Daru, Papua New Guinea. Donna Kwan Department of Zoology, James Cook University of North Queensland
  8. Benthic and Pelagic Processes in the Fly River Delta and the Nearshore Gulf of Papua. Alistar I Robertson and Daniel M Alongi Australian Institute of Marine Science
  9. Research for Sustainable Development of the Tropical Rock Lobster Fishery in Torres Strait. Roland Pitcher CSIRO Division of Fisheries
  10. Biological Investigations into the Impact of the Ok Tedi Copper Mine. Ross E W Smith Ok Tedi Mining Limited
  11. Torres Strait Fisheries Management. Mark Elmer, Queensland Fish Management Authority Robert Coles, Australian Fisheries Service
  12. Rock Lobster Fisheries: Enhanced commercial yields by artificial shelters. Bruce F Phillips, CSIRO Marine Laboratories Chris Crossland, CSIRO Institute of Natural Resources and Environment
  13. Trace Element Profiles of Clams (Tridacna crocea) Gathered from Various Sites in Tones Strait. Gerry Murphy, Clive Turnbull, Robert Manning and Robert. Pearson Queensland Department of Primary Industries & Fisheries
  14. Tridacna: Sentinels of Heavy Metal Pollution in Torres Strait Waters - a Critical Evaluation. Gary R W Denton and Leroy F Heitz Water & Energy Research Institute of the Western Pacific, University of Guam

Human Environment of the Torres Strait Region

  1. Maza A Legend about Culture and the Sea. Judith Fitzpatrick Tropical Health Program, University of Queensland Medical School
  2. The Eastern Islands of the Torres Strait. Jeremy Beckett Department of Anthropology, University of Sydney
  3. Wopkaimin Landowners, the Ok Tedi Project and the Creation of the Fly River Socio-ecological Region. David Hyndmun Department of Anthropology and Sociology, University of Queensland
  4. The Subsistence Economy of the Kiwai-speaking People of the Southwest Coast of Papua New Guinea. David Lawrence Torres Strait Baseline Study, Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority
  5. The Need for an Information Database of Resource Development Activities for the Torres Strait Region. Thomas Nen Papua New Guinea National Research Institute
  6. Torres Strait Traditional Fisheries Studies: Some Implications for Sustainable Development. Robert Johannes, CSIRO Division of Fisheries Wallace MacFarlane, Queensland National Parks and Wildlife Service
  7. Sustainable Development: Possibilities and Limitations to Indigenous Economic Development in the Tones Strait. Bill Arthur, Centre for Aboriginal Economic Policy Research, Australian National University
  8. Self-Management and the Bureaucracy: the Example of Thursday Island. Sandra J Kehoe-Forutan Gutteridge Haskins & Davey
  9. Internationalism, Indigenous Peoples and Sustainable Development. Peter Jull North Australia Research Unit, Australian National University
  10. Environment and Human Ecology in the Lake Murray-Middle Fly Area. Murk Busse Papua New Guinea National Museum
  11. The Torres Strait Treaty and the Environment.Judith Laffan, Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade
  12. The MAZA Wildlife Management Area, Western Province, Papua New Guinea: The Resources and its Management. William Asigau Papua New Guinea Department of Environment and Conservation

Baseline Study and Concluding Remarks

  1. The Policy Context of the Torres Strait Environmental Baseline Study. Allan Haines, Department of Arts, Sport, the Environment, Tourism and Territories
  2. Sustainable Development for Traditional Inhabitants of the Torres Strait Region: The Torres Strait Baseline Study. David Lawrence, Torres Strait Baseline Study, Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority
  3. The Torres Strait Baseline Study Scientific Programme: Assessing the Impacts of Heavy Metals in a Physically Complex and Biologically Diverse Tropical Marine System. Ian J Dight Torres Strait Baseline Study, Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority and James Cook University of North Queensland
  4. Lines in the Water: Sea Tenure as "Custom Today" in Western Oceania. John Cordell Cultural Survival Inc.

The Torres Strait Baseline Study - What Does It All Mean?

Jon Brodie, Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority, Vic McGrath, Torres Strait Regional Authority

This was a phamplet developed to explain the aims and outcomes of the study.