[cs_content][cs_section bg_image=”http://plan.northerngulf.com.au/wp-content/uploads/2015/10/Gulf-Coast.jpg” parallax=”true” separator_top_type=”none” separator_top_height=”50px” separator_top_angle_point=”50″ separator_bottom_type=”none” separator_bottom_height=”50px” separator_bottom_angle_point=”50″ style=”margin: 0px;padding: 45px 0px -100px;”][cs_row inner_container=”true” marginless_columns=”false” style=”margin: -50px auto 0px;padding: 0px;”][cs_column fade=”false” fade_animation=”in” fade_animation_offset=”45px” fade_duration=”750″ type=”1/1″ style=”padding: 0px;”][x_gap size=”50px”][/cs_column][/cs_row][/cs_section][cs_section parallax=”true” separator_top_type=”none” separator_top_height=”50px” separator_top_angle_point=”50″ separator_bottom_type=”none” separator_bottom_height=”50px” separator_bottom_angle_point=”50″ class=”cs-ta-justify” style=”margin: -30px 0px -20px;padding: 0px;”][cs_row inner_container=”true” marginless_columns=”false” bg_color=”#ffffff” class=”cs-ta-justify” style=”margin: 45px auto;padding: 30px 30px 5px;”][cs_column fade=”true” fade_animation=”in-from-top” fade_animation_offset=”45px” fade_duration=”750″ type=”1/1″ class=”cs-ta-justify” style=”padding: 10px 10px -40px;”][x_custom_headline level=”h4″ looks_like=”h4″ accent=”false” class=”cs-ta-center mtn”]About the Gulf Coast [/x_custom_headline][x_columnize]The Gulf of Carpentaria is a shallow-water tropical sea containing varied and dynamic marine and estuarine habitats, such as mangrove communities and patches of coral reef and seagrass beds which are nursery habitats for commercial fisheries species and internationally significant marine biodiversity. The adjoining coastal area contains high conservation value coastal wetlands which support abundant birdlife, and extensive salt pans which are now being recognised for their unique ecological significance.
The Gulf Coast has a very high Indigenous population, including three tribes which converge on Normanton, and six tribes which converge on Kowanyama. There are two well established and highly respected Land and Sea Ranger groups, which are the primary delivery mechanism for on ground NRM along the coast. The town of Karumba is the focal point of a thriving tourist economy based on recreational fishing and a port which supports Gulf fisheries and the live export trade.
[/x_columnize][/cs_column][/cs_row][/cs_section][cs_section bg_image=”http://plan.northerngulf.com.au/wp-content/uploads/2015/10/Gulf-Coast.jpg” parallax=”true” separator_top_type=”none” separator_top_height=”50px” separator_top_angle_point=”50″ separator_bottom_type=”none” separator_bottom_height=”50px” separator_bottom_angle_point=”50″ style=”margin: 0px;padding: 45px 0px;”][cs_row inner_container=”true” marginless_columns=”false” class=”cs-ta-center” style=”margin: -50px auto 0px;padding: 0px;”][cs_column fade=”false” fade_animation=”in” fade_animation_offset=”45px” fade_duration=”750″ type=”1/1″ style=”padding: 0px;”][cs_text]

[/cs_text][/cs_column][/cs_row][/cs_section][cs_section parallax=”true” separator_top_type=”none” separator_top_height=”50px” separator_top_angle_point=”50″ separator_bottom_type=”none” separator_bottom_height=”50px” separator_bottom_angle_point=”50″ style=”margin: 0px;padding: 45px 0px;”][cs_row inner_container=”true” marginless_columns=”false” style=”margin: 0px auto;padding: 0px;”][cs_column fade=”false” fade_animation=”in” fade_animation_offset=”45px” fade_duration=”750″ type=”1/1″ style=”padding: 0px;”][x_custom_headline level=”h4″ looks_like=”h4″ accent=”false” class=”cs-ta-center mtn”] Our Goals [/x_custom_headline][x_accordion link=”true” id=”ACCORDION” class=”mtl”][x_accordion_item title=”VISION” open=”false”]The health and resilience of the Carpentaria coastline and the south-east Gulf of Carpentaria marine environment is maintained, and biodiversity is teeming and flourishing. Fish stocks are abundant and diverse and support Indigenous, recreational and commercial fishing sectors into the future, managed through collaborative arrangements which accommodate all users of the natural resource while maintaining the ecological and cultural integrity of the environment.[/x_accordion_item][x_accordion_item title=”INDIGENOUS RANGER PROGRAMS” open=”false”]Provide support when enlisted to Indigenous Land and Sea Ranger programs that are based out of Kowanyama and Normanton, for their on ground works programs controlling weeds and pests along the coast, conserving and monitoring biodiversity, and maintaining cultural and ecological assets.

[/x_accordion_item][x_accordion_item title=”FISHERIES MANAGEMENT” open=”false”]The three sectors competing for the same fisheries resource (recreational, commercial, Indigenous) within the south-east Gulf of Carpentaria marine environment and estuaries collaborate towards a sustainable management framework which accommodate the needs of all, while developing an evidence base to verify the condition of the fishery and understand the drivers of change in dynamic coastal and marine environments.

[/x_accordion_item][x_accordion_item title=”ANGLER EDUCATION” open=”false”]Educate recreational anglers in Karumba and Normanton by promoting sustainable fishing practices and communicating fishing regulations while working alongside tourism operators.

[/x_accordion_item][x_accordion_item title=”COASTAL WETLANDS” open=”false”]Collaboration occurs between key stakeholders to maintain and enhance the environmental values of internationally significant coastal wetlands, by supporting monitoring of impacts and on ground works to build their resilience to climate change.

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Support a research based risk assessment of turtle nesting beaches within the Coastal Gulf, examining potential impacts of sea level rise and elevated temperatures on persistence and availability of nesting beach habitat, sex ratios of hatchlings and opportunities for mitigative management.
Support a dedicated survey for Speartooth and Northern River Sharks within suitable habitat areas of the south east Gulf of Carpentaria, particularly estuarine systems on perennial rivers i.e. the Mitchell estuarine systems.
Facilitate the establishment of a multi-partner working group to develop a Gulf coastal zone marine ecosystem monitoring program involving state and commonwealth agencies (including GBRMPA expertise), research organisations and community, corporate and government marine resource monitoring providers. The group to focus initially on examining risks posed to key ecological features by basin sediment and contaminant loads, flood plumes, extreme weather events and sea level rise. 
Support the conduction of fishery independent stock assessment for key fishery species within the coastal Gulf, with an initial focus on the recreational fishery flagship species, javelin grunter.
Investigate a carbon project and whether carbon credits can be generated through restoring degraded areas. Do this by further investigation and quantification of the benefits of saltmarsh areas, mangroves and seagrass beds for climate change mitigation (blue carbon), through sequestration and storage of carbon in sediments.
The extent of the water hyacinth invasion of the Smithburne River catchment needs to be determined and a control program implemented as a matter of urgency. 
Improve understanding of flow-based cues for the movement of fishery associated species. Consult with relevant stakeholders (including recreational and commercial fishing organisations) and state government agencies (DAF FQ, DNRM) to secure resources or commitments to engage fishery research providers. Establish research programs examining the linkages between river flow events and the migration and reproductive biology of fishery associated fish and crustacean species.
Survey for other threatened elasmobranch species. Support a dedicated survey for Speartooth and Northern River Sharks within suitable habitat areas of the south east Gulf planning area, particularly lower fresh and estuarine systems on perennial rivers i.e. the lower Mitchell. 
Develop a prioritisation framework to determine areas for future freshwater surveys (fish and macro invertebrate), collecting high resolution native fish baseline community data in areas where tilapia may expand to for future reference and comparison. Investigate new technologies in freshwater vertebrate sampling techniques such as environmental DNA.
Support the establishment of a participatory action research program into the biology and ecology of the recreational fishery flagship species javelin grunter, to understand better the dynamics between fish and anglers and to generate awareness and ownership of the issue by Karumba anglers.

 

Develop and implement an integrated field and remote sensing based seagrass monitoring program, combined with a “seagrass watch” program with the support of Land and Sea Rangers, to update and improve definition of seagrass extent and condition within the coastal Gulf and to monitor its responses to inter-annual climatic events.

 

Support researchers to develop and compare effective survey methods (including eDNA, hydro-acoustics, gill netting and targeted angling) for freshwater sawfish in freshwater habitats of Gulf rivers. Conduct targeted surveys of large perennial waterholes stratified across Gulf river basins including those affected by passage barriers.

 

Determine the extent of seawater intrusion resulting from excessive groundwater use.
Determine the extent of and disturbance caused by acid sulfate soils along the Gulf coast.

Determine & verify the value, extent and international significance of the Gulf coast for migratory wader birds. Review old data that has been re-hashed and re-published over the years and update with recent wader/shorebird/migratory species surveys to understand trends, particularly in light of climate change impacts on wader bird abundance and distribution.

Support an integrated research effort to draw together all existing knowledge and to undertake further research on the numbers and ecological requirements of waterbirds that breed in colonies in the Gulf Plains region, in order to develop critical baseline data in the face of proposed irrigated agriculture development in the Gilbert and Mitchell Rivers. This is particularly relevant as recent research has pointed to rainfall and river flow regimes as determinants of breeding activity. 

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