Marine and Freshwater Research Marine and Freshwater Research Society
Advances in the aquatic sciences
RESEARCH ARTICLE

Business as usual for the human use of Moreton Bay following marine park zoning

R. A. Kenyon A C , R. C. Babcock A , Q. Dell A , E. Lawrence B , C. Moeseneder A and M. L. Tonks A
+ Author Affiliations
- Author Affiliations

A CSIRO Oceans and Atmosphere, Ecosciences Precinct, GPO Box 2583, Brisbane, Qld 4001, Australia.

B CSIRO Data61, Ecosciences Precinct, GPO Box 2583, Brisbane, Qld 4001, Australia.

C Corresponding author. Email: rob.kenyon@csiro.au

Marine and Freshwater Research - https://doi.org/10.1071/MF16400
Submitted: 13 April 2016  Accepted: 14 August 2017   Published online: 13 October 2017

Abstract

The multiple-use Moreton Bay Marine Park in eastern Australia was rezoned in 2009, increasing the total no-take marine national park (MNP) from 0.5 to 16%. In the present study we measured trends in the human use of no-take areas using observed vessel position and categorisation during on-water and aerial surveys before and after rezoning. Measured changes in spatial patterns of fishing showed that the effects of rezoning on most fishing activity was minimal. After rezoning, the proportion of recreational fishing declined from 6.3 to 2.6% of the footprint in the new MNPs. The proportion of commercial fishing declined from 25 to 1%, although the amount of commercial fishing was low. There was an overall increase in fishing activity on Moreton Bay. Low recreational fisher displacement suggests that the expansion of the MNP area did not have a high social cost. However, most of the no-take zones were areas not previously subject to high recreational fishing pressure. If a significant proportion of the no-take zones were placed in areas of low ecological production, the biodiversity conservation impact achieved by the rezoning of Moreton Bay may have been less than the 16% increase in no-take areas would imply.

Additional keywords: displacement, no-take zones, on-water observations, recreational fishing, spatial management.


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