Inshore Palm Islands

The northern boundary of the Palm Island inshore reporting zone extends east from the north-west bank of the Seaforth Channel mouth, just south of Hinchinbrook Island, to the offshore boundary and includes enclosed coastal, open coastal and mid-shelf waters. The southern boundary of the Palm Island zone extends eastward from the southern boundary of the Herbert River Basin to just east of the Palm Island Group and runs north to the Wet Tropics NRM marine region boundary at the junction with the offshore waters boundary. The major river discharging into the Palm Island zone is the Herbert River. Several sub-catchments, including the Seymour River, also discharge into the Palm Island inshore zone. Water quality in the Palm Island zone is affected by plumes of sediments, nutrients and pesticides from rivers discharging directly into the zone but also from the plumes of southern rivers, particularly the Burdekin River the mouth of which is approximately 180 km to the south-east. The area includes the Palm Island group located approximately 17 km east of the mainland. The Palm Island Group includes Orpheus Island, Pelorus Island, Fantome Island, Palm Island, and Havannah Island. These islands provide fringing shallow water environments that support coral reef ecosystems and reef seagrass meadows.

Scroll down for further detailed results for each indicator group.

Grading

gradesa1

very good

gradesb1

good

gradesc1

moderate

gradesd1

poor

gradese1

very poor

insufficient data

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 2015-16 for the Palm Island inshore zone is ‘good’ (69.2).

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 or assessments of pollutant loads entering the marine environment. The results are derived from in-situ water samples and water quality loggers at two inshore locations and a single passive pesticide sampler located Lucinda jetty.

The water clarity score of 71.0 (‘good’) in the Palm Island zone is comprised of total suspended solids (‘good’) and turbidity (‘good’) indicators.

Nutrients scored 49.2 (‘moderate’) in the Palm Island zone, comprising of ‘very poor’ for oxidised nitrogen (NOx), a ‘poor’ for particulate nitrogen (PN) and a ‘very good’ for particulate phosphorus (PP).

The chlorophyll a score in the Palm Island zone is 62.5 (‘good’).

Using the Photosystem II herbicide equivalent concentrations method, pesticides received a score of 93.9 (‘very good’).

The water quality index has remained ‘good’ in the Palm Island zone since 2014-15 with an increase in grade for chlorophyll a (‘moderate’ to ‘good’) and decrease in grade for nutrients (‘good’ to ‘moderate’).

Coral

Hover over each segment for indicator scores and data confidence.

The overall coral grade in 2015-16 for the Palm Island inshore zone is 55.8 (‘moderate’).

The coral grade is comprised of the density of juvenile hard corals score of 95 (‘very good’), the macroalgae cover score of 35 (‘poor’), the coral cover score of 32 (‘poor’), the change in coral cover score of 67 (‘good’), and the coral community composition score of 50 (‘moderate’).

Scores for the coral indicators in the Palm Island zone have improved for juvenile density and coral change since 2014-15 and this has resulted in an increase of the coral index score from 43.2 to 55.8. More information on recent changes in coral indicators and the relationships with environmental conditions are provided in the latest Marine Monitoring Program coral report Thompson et al. (2017).

Seagrass

Hover over each segment for indicator scores and data confidence.

There is no current seagrass monitoring undertaken in the Palm Island Zone and consequently there is no seagrass grade available for the Report Card in the Palm Island Zone.

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.

References
Thompson, A., Costello, P., Davidson, J., Logan, M., Coleman, G., Gunn, K., Schaffelke, B., 2017, Marine Monitoring Program. Annual Report for inshore coral reef monitoring: 2015 to 2016. Report for the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority, Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority, Townsville.133 pp.

 

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