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Research Article Open Access
The Great Sandy Region is a pristine sandy area off the eastern coast of Queensland, Australia. Due to the unique make-up of the region, integrated coastal zone management (ICZM) is evident: there are many management plans in place to ensure the longevity of the region’s natural resources. Inthis paper, qualitative environmental indicators were used to evaluate the strengths, weaknesses, and gaps in the Great Sandy Marine Park Zoning Plan (GSMPZP) and the Great Sandy Regional Marine Aquaculture Plan (GSRMAP). The GSMPZP is extremely comprehensive in nature, yet fails to define its overarching goal, and failed to involve the public during the planning process. Conversely, the GSRMAP demonstrated public participation and transparency throughout its planning process, yet fails to define maximum culture density of the aquaculture sites: this has serious implications for the health of the surrounding environment. It is recommended that, in the future, the GSMPZP adopt an adaptive management practice and involve the public in the planning process. Additionally, it is recommended that the GSRMAP explicitly defines maximum allowable culture density, and monitors the region closely after aquaculture begins to avoid regional environmental degradation.