Offshore

The single Offshore zone includes all offshore waters within the Wet Tropics NRM marine region. The Offshore zone extends east from the boundary of the mid-shelf water to the boundary of the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park, and is bordered north and south by the Wet Tropics NRM marine region.

Water quality in the Offshore zone is less affected by plumes of sediments, nutrients and pesticides from river discharge than the inshore zones due to its distance from the land.

The closest point on the mainland to the offshore zone boundary is Cape Kimberley, just north of the Daintree estuary, at a distance of approximately 14 km, whilst the boundary is typically a minimum of 20 km from the mainland.

The Offshore zone includes numerous coral reefs, 15 of which are included in the offshore coral surveys for the Pilot Report Card.

Unlike the inshore zone where coral reefs often occur in the shallow fringing waters of continental islands, the coral reefs in the Offshore zone predominantly grow on limestone platforms that are relics of past phases of reef growth. These coral reefs provide habitats for an immense diversity of organisms including hard and soft coral species, ascidians, bryozoans, molluscs, fish, turtles and marine mammals.

offshore_coaster_overall

Scroll down for further detailed results for each indicator group.

Grading

gradesa1

very good

gradesb1

good

gradesc1

moderate

gradesd1

poor

gradese1

very poor

gradesnd1

insufficient data

gradesna1

not applicable

Confidence surrounding the data used in the circle diagrams has been assessed using a multi-criteria framework.

confidence

Water quality

Hover over each segment for indicator scores and data confidence.

The overall water quality grade in 2014/15 for the Offshore zone is ‘very good’.

Water quality grades are based on water quality guideline trigger values established for the waters of the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park that, if exceeded, identify the need for management responses. The guidelines are not targets and are not an assessments of pollutant loads entering the marine environment.

The results are from remote sensed water quality indicators of offshore waters sourced from the eReefs Marine Water Quality dashboard provided through the Bureau of Meteorology.

The sediment score of 99.5 (very good) in the Offshore zone is comprised of a total suspended solids (TSS) score.

The chlorophyll a score in the Offshore zone is 99.6 (very good).

Coral

Hover over each segment for indicator scores and data confidence.

The overall coral grade in 2014/15 for the Offshore zone is 61 (good).

The coral grade is comprised of the density of juvenile hard corals score of 83 (very good), the macroalgae cover score of 41 (moderate) and the coral cover score of 59 (moderate).

Fish

Hover over each segment for indicator scores and data confidence.

The fish index is currently under development and will be available in future report cards.

 

Further information on the methods used to produce the scores and grades and detailed results can be found here.