Surveillance and Poaching on Inshore Reefs of the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park

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Abstract:

The Great Barrier Reef (GBR), Australia, is managed under the GBR Marine Park Act (1975) and is seen as a shining example of marine resource management. The principle tool of management is zoning for multiple use. We examined surveillance and illegal fishing around two inshore islands (Magnetic and Orpheus) of the GBR Marine Park in 2000/2001. Both islands are near Townsville, the largest city adjacent to the GBR. Surveillance effort was low, with vessels present on only 16% of days of the year. Measurable but low levels of illegal recreational fishing occurred within no-take zones. Levels decreased with increasing surveillance effort. Thus zoning was not completely successful in protecting fish targeted by fisheries, even within the most highly enforced sections of the Park. The expansion of no-take zones in 2004 from 4.6% to 33.4% of the area of the 358,000 km2 Park represents a considerable challenge for future surveillance and enforcement.

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/08920750490487223

Affiliations: School of Marine Biology and Aquaculture, James Cook University, Townsville, Australia

Publication date: October 1, 2004

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