Gladstone Harbour: A working port rich in marine resources



Gladstone Harbour Report Card 2018

The Gladstone Healthy Harbour Partnership (GHHP) presents its fourth annual report card to the community and stakeholders. The 2018 Gladstone Harbour Report Card contains the results calculated using 32 indicators derived from 91 different measures within the four components of harbour health: Environment, Economic, Social, and Cultural.

The 2018 report card includes, for the first time mangroves within the Environmental component. Other changes to the 2018 report card were in cultural heritage where the framework has been simplified resulting in less measures used than the in 2017. Also in the Economic component under economic value (recreation) a new water-based creation indicator was added.

Overall, the Gladstone Harbour Report Card 2018 grade results were Environmental health of Gladstone Harbour satisfactory (C), Cultural health of Gladstone Harbour satisfactory (C), Social health of Gladstone Harbour good (B) and the economic health of Gladstone Harbour good (B).

While there were some changes to the scores within the indicators, the overall grades were unchanged from 2017.

Report Card Image


The GHHP Education Resource Kit contains activities and assessment pieces that form part of the school curriculum for students from prep to grade 12.

The kit aims to provide students of all ages with an understanding of the health testing taking place in the Gladstone Harbour.

Inside the 2018 GHHP Technical Report

The 2018 GHHP Technical Report provides a comprehensive overview of the 2018 Gladstone Harbour Report Card and contains the complete results for all report card components, Environmental, Social, Cultural and Economic.

The technical report explains the drivers and pressures that could influence the results and includes the methodologies employed to collect data and calculate the final grades and scores.

A full overview (including maps) of the areas in which monitoring for all four report card components was conducted is also provided.

2018 GHHP Research Highlights


Mangroves are a key component of Gladstone’s natural environment. They protect shorelines from the impacts of storms, improve water quality and provide valuable habitat for barramundi, mud crab, prawns and sea turtles. New satellite imagery and aerial photography have been used to report on the health of mangroves by covering all 13 GHHP environmental reporting zones. Analysis of these images provide a measure of mangrove canopy condition (health) and over time, changes to the area occupied by mangroves. Shoreline condition, which assesses the proportion of dead mangroves within the shoreline trees, was determined from aerial photography.


A coral coring study has been undertaken on Gladstone Harbour to study environmental trends in the harbour over the past 100 years. This research involved taking narrow cores of coral from some of the larger out crops in the harbour, and then analysing their profiles. Results will show the history of the harbour from the 1960s and the extent of freshwater plumes dating back to the early 1900s. Understanding the historic trends may help us to explain why coral scores are remaining very low in the harbour.


Fish are key biological indicators of environmental condition as they are exposed to wide range of human and environmental pressures during their life. The report card has a fish recruitment indicator based on two juvenile bream species, the pikey bream and yellowfin bream. GHHP has been monitoring these species in nursery habitats around Gladstone Harbour since 2016. Other fish health research projects underway capture data from net sampling in harbour zones as well as data from fishing competitions such as the Boyne Tannum HookUp.


The Gladstone Healthy Harbour Partnership acknowledges the traditional owners of the land and sea in the Port Curtis Coral Coast region, the Gurang, Gooreng Gooreng, Taribelang Bunda and Bailai people, and pays respect to the ancestors, the Elders both past and present, and to the people.