RELEASED: Gladstone Harbour’s 2020 report card

A health organisation has released its annual report on Gladstone Harbour, with coral and mud crabs the big flunkers.

The Gladstone Healthy Harbour Partnership unveiled the results of its 2020 Gladstone Harbour "report card" on Tuesday morning.

The report card was produced with the support of 21 partners, representing community, traditional owners, industry, science, government and harbour management.

Report cards are a globally recognised method of reporting on waterway health and monitoring changes over time.

GHHP had worked over the past year to produce the 2020 Report Card for the community and stakeholders, rating indicators from very poor (E) to very good (A).

Minister for the Great Barrier Reef, Meaghan Scanlon, congratulated GHHP on delivering its seventh report card and welcomed the positive results across a number of key indicators.

"It is fantastic to know that our long-term investment continues to deliver water quality benefits for Gladstone and too, for our Great Barrier Reef," Ms Scanlon said.

The 2020 Report Card presented the results of environmental, social, cultural and economic

monitoring within Gladstone Harbour and the Gladstone Local Government Area, between July 2018 and June 2020.

Information and data used in the report card had been provided by scientific research organisations, universities and specialist consultants overseen by the GHHP independent science panel and the GHHP science team.

After five years of satisfactory grades (C), the environmental grade improved to a B, a result of higher grades for seagrass, fish recruitment and water quality.

Seagrass continued to improve from a poor grade (D) in 2018, to a good grade (B) in 2020.

Fish recruitment improved from a D in 2019, to a C in 2020.

Water and sediment quality continued to be very good (A), with water quality receiving its highest score since the first full report card in 2015.

As a result, this was the first time the overall water quality indicator received a very good grade (A).

However, coral received a very poor grade (E) and mud crabs received a poor grade (D).

Of the environmental indicator groups, water and sediment quality received an A; habitats made up of seagrass, mangroves and coral, received a C; and fish and crabs, made up of fish

recruitment, fish health and mud crabs, also received a C.

The social component grade for 2020 was good (B).

Results were consistent with previous years with community perceptions of harbour usability staying as satisfactory (C), and harbour access and liveability/wellbeing both remaining good (B).

The scores for the social component have remained relatively stable since it was included in the pilot report card in 2014.

As a result, this component will only be monitored every third year and no new monitoring was conducted in 2020.

The overall grade for the cultural component was satisfactory (C).

The grade for sense of place remained good (B).

This score has changed little in five years and suggests that the community's expectations of the harbour area are being met.

The score for place attachment was slightly higher than previous years, suggesting an increased engagement with and appreciation of the harbour.

The scores for the cultural component have remained relatively stable since it was included in the pilot report card in 2014.

As a result, this component will only be monitored every third year and no new monitoring was conducted in 2020.

The overall economic grade for 2020 was good (B).

Economic performance remains an A, owing to the continued strength of shipping and tourism.

However, commercial fishing received a poor score for the fourth consecutive year.

The scores for the economic component have remained relatively stable since it was included in the pilot report card in 2014.

As a result, this component will only be monitored every third year and no new monitoring was conducted in 2020.