No-anchoring areas reduce coral damage in an effort to build resilience in Keppel Bay, southern Great Barrier Reef

Beeden, R., Maynard, J., Johnson, J., Dryden, J., Kininmonth, S., and Marshall, P. (2014) No-anchoring areas reduce coral damage in an effort to build resilience in Keppel Bay, southern Great Barrier Reef. Australasian Journal of Environmental Management, 21 (3). pp. 311-319.

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Abstract

The natural resilience of coral reefs and their ability to resist and recover from disturbance may be supported by managing user access, including regulating the anchoring of vessels. The process of targeting site-based local management actions and evaluating success is central to the adaptive management process. We describe an example of such a process from Keppel Bay in the southern Great Barrier Reef. No-anchoring areas were selected based on evidence of severe anchor damage relative to other sites. The four locations selected are areas of high visitation where interpretive signage and the effort to support reef resilience create additional benefits of community outreach. Surveys indicate reduced anchor damage inside all four no-anchoring areas from similar to 80 instances per 1000 m(2) in 2008 to fewer than ten in 2012. Anchor damage also declined between 2010 and 2012 at three of the four control reefs near the no-anchoring areas. This case study is unique and foundational in that this was the first time that supporting reef resilience was explicitly used as the motivation for local-scale management in the Great Barrier Reef. Follow-up engagement with community and stakeholder groups suggests the process has led to an increase in reef awareness and stewardship.

Item ID: 36698
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 2159-5356
Keywords: Great Barrier Reef, coral reefs, Keppel Bay, resilience, environmental management, anchoring
Funders: Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority, Mistra, CRIOBE/EPHE, LABEX CORAIL
Date Deposited: 03 Dec 2014 07:43
Downloads: Total: 5
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