Tools to support resilience-based management of the GBR

Peter Mumby

Resilience-based management (RBM) aims to target interventions where they can best enhance natural processes of recovery or minimise disturbance where its consequences are disproportionately high. Following GBRMPA’s Blue Print on resilience, we collaborated with partners to help operationalise several concepts of RBM. To do this we used the ‘best available’ science on reef ecosystems. Three RBM approaches were developed and applied in various degrees of operation.

  1. The identification of key sources of coral larvae. This approach combines predicted and observed reef state with coral larval connectivity. It finds those reefs that play an exceptionally important role in supplying new coral larvae where they are most needed; i.e., recently damaged reefs in early stages of recovery.
  2. Priotities for compliance: Through collaboration with GBRMPA’s Compliance team we have mapped both recreational and commercial fishing pressure and identified areas of high risk of potential poaching and where the impact of such poaching on reef recovery would be particularly problematic.
  3. RBM Explorer. A software tool to simulate how water quality improvement, zoning, boat-related damage, and CoTS control improves the state of coral reefs. This allows users to examine strategies that might provide better outcomes.