Twelve Apostles Marine National Park Australia

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1 EVALUATION REPORT Twelve Apostles Marine National Park Australia Location: Victoria, Australia coastal waters Global Ocean Refuge Status: Nominated (2017), Evaluated (2017) MPAtlas.org ID: Manager(s): Chief Ranger, West Coast District (phone: ) 1. ELIGIBILITY CRITERIA 1.1 Biodiversity Value Effective Management & Compliance 3 2. AWARD STATUS CRITERIA 2.1 Regulations Site Design & Management 6 3. GLORES NETWORK PRIORITIES 3.1 Ecosystem Representation Ecological Spatial Connectivity 7

2 1.1 Eligibility Criteria: Biodiversity Value (must satisfy at least one) a. Includes area of high species richness or endemism within the context of the biogeographic region. Twelve Apostles Marine National Park spans 75 square kilometers and contains a variety of habitats, including limestone cliffs, intertidal and subtidal rocky reefs, sandy beaches, subtidal soft sediment, sparse sea grass beds, and the water column, that host a diversity of wildlife. 1,2 The park is thought to host the highest diversity of intertidal and shallow subtidal invertebrates on limestone reef in Victoria. The varied depths of the subtidal reefs in the park also host diverse algal species and sponges. The geological formations within the park its shoreline, rockstacks and islands provide habitat for breeding seabirds. Although there are no species endemic to the park, the region is home to many species endemic to Australia. 3 b. Includes demonstrated historic or predicted ecological refugia. c. Includes rare, unique, or representative ecosystems. The area protected by the park is a registered geological/geomorphological site of national significance. 4 The park spans two distinctive geological regions the Port Campbell Coast and the Otways Coast. The ecosystems it protects rocky reefs, sandy beaches, sea grass beds are representative of coastal ecosystems in Victoria, and the park s management plan identifies protecting representative ecosystems as a reason for the designation of this park. 5 d. Includes area important for threatened species (including those identified by the IUCN Red List or national legislation), keystone species, or foundational species. Important areas include migration pathways and breeding, nursery, feeding, or assembly areas. The park is an important feeding and roosting area for eleven threatened bird species listed under the Flora and Fauna Guarantee (FFG) Act (1998) and considered endangered in Victoria. The intertidal reef in the park is occasionally used as a haul-out area by New Zealand fur seals and Australian fur seals, both listed as vulnerable under 1 Parks Victoria. (2012). Marine Natural Values Study Vol 2: Marine Protected Areas of the Otway Bioregion. Barton, J., Pope, A., & Howe, S., eds. Parks Victoria Technical Series, p Parks Victoria. (2006). Twelve Apostles Marine National Park and The Arches Marine Sanctuary Management 3 Parks Victoria. (2012). Marine Natural Values Study Vol 2: Marine Protected Areas of the Otway Bioregion. Barton, J., Pope, A., & Howe, S., eds. Parks Victoria Technical Series, p Parks Victoria. (2006). Twelve Apostles Marine National Park and The Arches Marine Sanctuary Management 5 Parks Victoria. (2012). Marine Natural Values Study Vol 2: Marine Protected Areas of the Otway Bioregion. Barton, J., Pope, A., & Howe, S., eds. Parks Victoria Technical Series, p , 38. 2

3 the FFG Act. The water column provides habitat and a migration pathway for a species of tuna and two species of shark listed as threatened under the FFG Act. 6,7 1.2 Eligibility Criteria: Effective Management & Compliance (must satisfy all) a. The MPA is designated by a legitimate and functional government representing the interests of civil society, and the MPA s implementation meets the IUCN standards for recognizing indigenous peoples rights. Twelve Apostles Marine National Park was included in the National Parks Act in 2002, and is managed by Parks Victoria under the provisions of the National Parks Act. The National Parks (Park) Regulations 2003, Coastal Management Act 1995, Archaeological and Aboriginal Relics Preservation Act 1972, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Heritage Protection Act 1984, and Native Title Act 1993 all apply to the park. 8 This combination of management and regulation ensure that both the biological and cultural values of the park are preserved. The management plan also includes specific aims and management strategies to preserve cultural values within the sites. b. The MPA is designated to enhance the biodiversity value of the site. The management plan states the following: Twelve Apostles Marine National Park and The Arches Marine Sanctuary make a valuable contribution to Victoria s parks system, which aims to protect viable representative samples of the State s natural marine and terrestrial environments. 9 The National Parks Act specifies that the park be managed in a manner that will preserve and protect the natural environment and indigenous flora and fauna of the park ; promote the prevention of the introduction of exotic flora and fauna into the park; and provide for the eradication or control of exotic flora and fauna found in the park. 10 Twelve Apostles is an IUCN Management Category II protected area, which means that its objective is to protect natural biodiversity along with its underlying ecological structure and supporting environmental processes, and to promote education and recreation Parks Victoria. (2012). Marine Natural Values Study Vol 2: Marine Protected Areas of the Otway Bioregion. Barton, J., Pope, A., & Howe, S., eds. Parks Victoria Technical Series, p Parks Victoria. (2006). Twelve Apostles Marine National Park and The Arches Marine Sanctuary Management 9 Parks Victoria. (2006). Twelve Apostles Marine National Park and The Arches Marine Sanctuary Management 10 Parks Victoria. (2006). Twelve Apostles Marine National Park and The Arches Marine Sanctuary Management 11 IUCN. (2012). Guidelines for Applying the IUCN Protected Area Management Categories to Marine Protected Areas. Retrieved June 2017 from 3

4 c. The MPA designation is permanent or is effective for at least 25 years. There is no expiration date listed for the National Park designation and the management plan refers to long-term protection. 12 d. A management plan, updated within the last 15 years, identifies and prioritizes significant threats to biodiversity and addresses those threats with measurable actions; the resources and capacity to implement the management plan are identified and secured. The management plan was published in It states that it is effective for 10 years. 13 (NB: We are currently following up with park management to determine the current status of updates to the management plan for this park.) The management plan identifies potential threats to the biodiversity within the park, including pollution and marine litter, invasive species, anchor damage to reefs, noise pollution and other human disturbances to wildlife. These threats are addressed through specific aims and related management strategies. 14 Parks Victoria is the primary management agency, but partnerships exist with a number of other agencies that assist with planning, management, or regulation. These agencies include the following: Department of Sustainability and Environment, Fisheries Victoria, the Western Coastal Board, Corangamite Catchment Management Authority, the Victorian Environment Protection Authority, Marine Safety Victoria, the Port of Portland, the Department for Victorian Communities, Aboriginal Affairs Victoria, the South West and Wimmera Cultural Heritage Program, Corangamite Shire, the Minerals and Petroleum Division (Department of Primary Industries), Tourism Victoria, Shipwreck Coast Tourism, Great Ocean Road Marketing, the Commonwealth Department of the Environment and Heritage. The management plan lists each agency s specific responsibilities in relation to the Marine National Park Parks Victoria. (2006). Twelve Apostles Marine National Park and The Arches Marine Sanctuary Management 13 Parks Victoria. (2006). Twelve Apostles Marine National Park and The Arches Marine Sanctuary Management 14 Parks Victoria. (2006). Twelve Apostles Marine National Park and The Arches Marine Sanctuary Management Plan, pp Retrieved June 2017 from 15 Parks Victoria. (2006). Twelve Apostles Marine National Park and The Arches Marine Sanctuary Management Plan, pp Retrieved June 2017 from 4

5 e. Regular monitoring of habitat and/or wildlife is conducted to measure progress with respect to conservation targets. A report of monitoring data is required at each GLORES audit after designation. Any negative biological trends identified through monitoring must be addressed in management plans. Progress toward identifying threats and addressing them must be documented. The management plan lists research and monitoring as a major management direction, especially in the area of biological community composition and structure. The National Parks Act provides for research activities, and Parks Victoria supports external researchers and research agencies. Parks Victoria has implemented or commissioned several research and monitoring programs in partnership with various external research agencies, including the University of Melbourne, Deakin University, and Museum Victoria. 16 Potential threats have been identified and management strategies are in place to address any threats that arise. 17 f. The MPA garners high regulation compliance rate. Evidence of adequate resources and capacity (including budget and staff) for enforcement is required. Involvement of local communities is the major strategy for regulation of the park. Parks Victoria plans to form relationships with boat users, fishers, visitors, and indigenous communities in order to garner compliance with the regulations. Public education about the park and its value is also a major protection strategy. 18 Additionally, policing illegal fishing in national parks and sanctuaries was listed as a priority for Victoria State in the 2017 annual report Parks Victoria. (2012). Marine Natural Values Study Vol 2: Marine Protected Areas of the Otway Bioregion. Barton, J., Pope, A., & Howe, S., eds. Parks Victoria Technical Series. pp Parks Victoria. (2006). Twelve Apostles Marine National Park and The Arches Marine Sanctuary Management Plan, pp. 10, 24-26, Retrieved June 2017 from 18 Parks Victoria. (2006). Twelve Apostles Marine National Park and The Arches Marine Sanctuary Management Plan, pp. 10, 24-26, Retrieved June 2017 from 19 State of Victoria. (2017). Enforcement priorities Retrieved June 2017 from 5

6 2.1 GLORES Award Status Criteria: Regulations Scores 1-3 = Platinum, 3-4 = Gold, 4-5 = Silver Classification and scoring (1-8) of zones based on fishing gear, bottom exploitation, aquaculture, and boating. Additional consideration: Buffer zones zones of reduced human impact surrounding core no-take protected areas enhance the conservation value of core no-take areas. An MPA that includes a large (>100 km2) no-take zone (Zone regulation score 1-3) surrounded by a buffer zone with a score 3-5 may be considered for a GLORES Platinum Award. The park is a no-take zone that allows boating and anchoring, which gives it an overall score of 3. Zone Score: 3 Number of fishing gear types allowed: 0 Fishing gear impact score: 0 Bottom exploitation & aquaculture index: 0 Anchoring & boating index (if the zone is no-take): 2 No aquaculture of any kind is permitted in the park, and the National Parks Act requires permits for research activities. 2.2 GLORES Award Status Criteria: Site Design and Management 3 Attributes = Platinum, 2 Attributes = Gold, 1 Attribute = Silver a. Size: MPA 100 km 2 or explicitly designed as part of a network of MPAs to support population connectivity Twelve Apostles is 75 square kilometers and is one of five marine protected areas in the Otway marine bioregion. These marine protected areas were not explicitly designed to support population connectivity. b. Isolation: Ecological or other protected area buffers surround ecosystem(s) A terrestrial protected area borders the coastal side of the park. No ecological or protected area buffers occur on the other sides of the park. c. Age: Protections in the site, comparable to the current protections, are 10 years old The first management plan for the park went into effect in d. Community engagement: There is a formal process to engage the local community in the implementation and/or ongoing management of the MPA. 6

7 The park management plan emphasizes the importance of local communities, especially indigenous communities. Education and outreach, as well as support of local researchers and tourism companies, are major objectives in the management plan. 20 A 2007 study involved stakeholders in hazard identification workshops for Marine National Parks and Marine Sanctuaries in the region. Parks Victoria was invited to participate in the workshops to improve their management of potential threats GLORES Network Priorities: Ecosystem Representation The park contains a variety of representative habitats, including limestone cliffs, intertidal and subtidal rocky reefs, sandy beaches, subtidal soft sediment, sparse sea grass beds, and the water column. Because the Global Ocean Refuge System is new this year, the ecosystems protected by Twelve Apostles Marine National Park will be the first of these ecosystems within the region to be represented in a Global Ocean Refuge. 3.2 GLORES Network Priorities: Ecological Spatial Connectivity Because the Global Ocean Refuge System is new this year, there are no other Global Ocean Refuges in the region with which to consider the ecological spatial connectivity contribution of Twelve Apostles Marine National Park. In future Global Ocean Refuge award cycles, we will describe the location of the MPA within the context of the existing GLORES network, considering connectivity. 20 Parks Victoria. (2006). Twelve Apostles Marine National Park and The Arches Marine Sanctuary Management Plan, pp. viii, 10, 19-26, Retrieved June 2017 from 21 Carey, J. M., Beilin, R., Boxshall, A., Burgman, M.A., Flander, L. (2007). Risk-Based Approches to Deal with Uncertainty in Data-Poor System: Stakeholder Involvement in Hazard Identification for Marine National Parks and Marine Sanctuaries in Victora, Australia. Risk Analysis 27(1),

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