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    Minister for Environment and Heritage Protection and Minister for National Parks and the Great Barrier Reef
    The Honourable Steven Miles

    Karamea joins fleet watching over the Great Barrier Reef

    Minister for Environment and Heritage Protection and Minister for National Parks and the Great Barrier Reef
    The Honourable Steven Miles

    Sunday, January 31, 2016

    Karamea joins fleet watching over the Great Barrier Reef

    State-of-the-art patrol vessel Karamea today officially joined the fleet of vessels patrolling the Great Barrier Reef to reduce illegal exploitation of protected marine areas in the Capricornia region.

    Based in Gladstone, the $555,722 custom-built 10.6 metre collared patrol vessel is jointly funded by the Australian and Queensland governments.

    The vessel will be used by the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority and Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service’s award-winning joint Field Management Program to rapidly respond to incidents in the Marine Park and undertake surveillance operations.

    Federal Minister for the Environment Greg Hunt said the vessel had a crucial role to play in protecting the Great Barrier Reef.

    “The Karamea has been stationed in Gladstone to help tackle illegal recreational fishing in protected areas of the Capricorn region,” Minister Hunt said.

    “This Field Management Program is the frontline of marine and island national park management of the Great Barrier Reef.

    “On-water compliance patrols will work to protect the immense biological, cultural and heritage values of the Reef.

    “The Karamea will enable more staff to be in the field to survey reefs and islands, deliver conservation actions, respond to incidents, maintain visitor facilities, and uphold compliance with Marine Park zoning rules,” Minister Hunt said.

    Queensland Minister for Environment and Heritage Protection and Minister for National Parks and the Great Barrier Reef Dr Steven Miles said the vessel greatly improved the Capricorn Coast Management Unit’s ability to service the Capricornia Cays.

    “This is a very sensitive area where officers do a lot of compliance patrols to protect the Reef and islands,” Dr Miles said.

    “Local staff picked the vessel’s name. It’s named after the Karamea Bank in a key compliance area east of Port Clinton.  Karamea will play a vital role in helping protect the World Heritage listed Great Barrier Reef in the Capricornia region.

    “These two vessels complement 19 other vessels in the Field Management Program, including the primary vessel, the 24 metre Reef Ranger,' he said.

    Member for Gladstone Glenn Butcher said Karamea replaced a nine metre rigid hull inflatable boat Bimbie Eungie that was at the end of its useful life. The Karamea joins sister vessel Jakarra, which was launched in Cairns in October 2015.

    Karamea cruises at approximately 24 knots and has a top speed of over 40 knots. It also has exceptional range of 320 nautical miles with 10 percent reserve so it can travel from Gladstone to the Swain Reefs, Percy Island or Fraser Island and back with fuel left in the tank. And with overnight accommodation, it makes for an impressive vessel,” Mr Butcher said.

    Karamea and Jakarra greatly improve the management team’s reach and ability to go to sea – quickly. For the crew, these vessels make their jobs safer, easier and more effective.

    “The collaboration of 115 dedicated Queenslanders drives the day-to-day implementation of this program, delivering on-ground conservation outcomes and targeting illegal activities within protected marine areas,” Mr Butcher said.

    The vessel fleet is part of the $17 million Great Barrier Reef joint Field Management Program. The program covers a 348,000 square kilometre area that stretches approximately 2300 kilometres and contains about 1050 islands.

    The program recently won a silver award and a collaboration award in the Prime Minister’s Excellence Awards in Public Administration.

    ENDS

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