Derelict fishing line provides a useful proxy for estimating levels of non-compliance with no-take marine reserves

Williamson, David H., Ceccarelli, Daniela M., Evans, Richard D., Hill, Jos K., and Russ, Garry R. (2014) Derelict fishing line provides a useful proxy for estimating levels of non-compliance with no-take marine reserves. PLoS One, 9 (12). e114395. pp. 1-21.

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Abstract

No-take marine reserves (NTMRs) are increasingly being established to conserve or restore biodiversity and to enhance the sustainability of fisheries. Although effectively designed and protected NTMR networks can yield conservation and fishery benefits, reserve effects often fail to manifest in systems where there are high levels of non-compliance by fishers (poaching). Obtaining reliable estimates of NTMR non-compliance can be expensive and logistically challenging, particularly in areas with limited or non-existent resources for conducting surveillance and enforcement. Here we assess the utility of density estimates and re-accumulation rates of derelict (lost and abandoned) fishing line as a proxy for fishing effort and NTMR non-compliance on fringing coral reefs in three island groups of the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park (GBRMP), Australia. Densities of derelict fishing line were consistently lower on reefs within old (> 20 year) NTMRs than on non-NTMR reefs (significantly in the Palm and Whitsunday Islands), whereas line densities did not differ significantly between reefs in new NTMRs (5 years of protection) and non-NTMR reefs. A manipulative experiment in which derelict fishing lines were removed from a subset of the monitoring sites demonstrated that lines re-accumulated on NTMR reefs at approximately one third (32.4%) of the rate observed on non-NTMR reefs over a thirty-two month period. Although these inshore NTMRs have long been considered some of the best protected within the GBRMP, evidence presented here suggests that the level of non-compliance with NTMR regulations is higher than previously assumed.

Item ID: 37480
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1932-6203
Additional Information:

© 2014 Williamson et al. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

Funders: Australian Department of Environment, Landcare Australia, George Alexander Foundation, PADI Foundation
Projects and Grants: PADI Project Aware
Research Data: http://eatlas.org.au/data/uuid/1445b34e-​f6ff-4a0f-96d4-e885ce697614
Date Deposited: 04 Feb 2015 07:35
FoR Codes: 05 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES > 0502 Environmental Science and Management > 050202 Conservation and Biodiversity @ 25%
05 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES > 0502 Environmental Science and Management > 050206 Environmental Monitoring @ 25%
05 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES > 0502 Environmental Science and Management > 050209 Natural Resource Management @ 50%
SEO Codes: 96 ENVIRONMENT > 9605 Ecosystem Assessment and Management > 960507 Ecosystem Assessment and Management of Marine Environments @ 50%
96 ENVIRONMENT > 9608 Flora, Fauna and Biodiversity > 960808 Marine Flora, Fauna and Biodiversity @ 25%
96 ENVIRONMENT > 9607 Environmental Policy, Legislation and Standards > 960701 Coastal and Marine Management Policy @ 25%
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