Skip to main content

Free Content Damage on South African Coral Reefs And an Assessment of Their Sustainable Diving Capacity Using a Fisheries Approach

Download Article:
 Download
(PDF 461.1787109375 kb)
 

Abstract:

Coral reefs in a marine reserve at Sodwana Bay (27°30'S) make it a premier dive resort. Corals are at the southern limits of their African distribution on these reefs which are dominated by soft corals. The coastline is exposed and turbulent. An assessment of the degree to which sport diving damages the reefs is needed for their management. This study showed that recognizable diver damage is generally concentrated in heavily dived areas. This damage and that of unknown cause probably attributable to divers exceeded natural damage on the reefs, despite the normally rough seas. Fishing line discarded in angling areas also caused considerable damage by tangling around branching corals which become algal fouled and die. Heaviest damage was caused in isolated areas by a minor crown-of-thorns outbreak. A linear regression indicated that 10% diver damage occurs at 9000 dives per dive site p. a. Taking uncertainty into account, a precautionary limit of 7000 dives per dive site p. a. was recommended. Further recommendations are that the reefs be zoned in terms of their sensitivity to diver damage, depth and use by divers according to qualification, and a ban be placed on the use of diving gloves to reduce handling of the reefs.

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2000-11-01

More about this publication?
  • The Bulletin of Marine Science is dedicated to the dissemination of high quality research from the world's oceans. All aspects of marine science are treated by the Bulletin of Marine Science, including papers in marine biology, biological oceanography, fisheries, marine affairs, applied marine physics, marine geology and geophysics, marine and atmospheric chemistry, and meteorology and physical oceanography.
  • Editorial Board
  • Information for Authors
  • Subscribe to this Title
  • Terms & Conditions
  • Ingenta Connect is not responsible for the content or availability of external websites
  • Access Key
  • Free content
  • Partial Free content
  • New content
  • Open access content
  • Partial Open access content
  • Subscribed content
  • Partial Subscribed content
  • Free trial content
Cookie Policy
X
Cookie Policy
Ingenta Connect website makes use of cookies so as to keep track of data that you have filled in. I am Happy with this Find out more