Partially protected areas as a management tool on inshore reefs

Hall, April E., Cameron, Darren S., and Kingsford, Mike J. (2021) Partially protected areas as a management tool on inshore reefs. Reviews in Fish Biology and Fisheries, 31. pp. 631-561.

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Partially Protected Areas (PPAs) are a widely-used management tool, yet comparatively little is known about their effectiveness compared to more commonly studied No-Take Marine Reserves (NTMRs). Here, we examine the efficacy of two kinds of PPAs (with and without spearfishing) within the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park (GBRMP) that are subject to a range of fishing limitations, and assess their utility as a marine park zoning and fisheries management tool. Fish abundance, size, and habitat composition were compared inside PPAs and NTMRs on inshore reefs of the central GBR. Fish abundances were lower inside PPAs relative to adjacent NTMRs for primary fishing targets, with no detectable effects for secondary targets and non-targets, or for species richness. Fish assemblages differed amongst zones, but these variations were minor compared to regional variations in species composition. Partially Protected Areas supported 46%–69% of the relative abundance of total primary targets compared to adjacent NTMRs, with no evident increase in abundance in zones where spearfishing was prohibited. There were no reductions in the size of two key target species: coral trout (Plectropomus spp.) and stripey snapper (Lutjanus carponotatus) inside PPAs, and only stripey snapper had significant reductions in abundance inside PPAs compared to NTMRS. Habitat and biophysical characteristics (especially topographic complexity) were strong drivers of fish abundance, but the relative influence of zone was greater for target species compared to non-targets. This study provides novel data on PPAs and highlights their utility as a spatial management tool in contributing to conservation and fisheries management goals.

Item ID: 67987
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1573-5184
Keywords: Conservation, Fish assemblages, Fisheries, Great Barrier Reef, Marine Protected Area, Zoning
Copyright Information: © The Author(s), under exclusive licence to Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2021.
Funders: Advance Queensland Research Fellowship, Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority (GBRMPA), James Cook University (JCU), ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies
Date Deposited: 15 Nov 2021 04:10
FoR Codes: 31 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 3103 Ecology > 310305 Marine and estuarine ecology (incl. marine ichthyology) @ 100%
SEO Codes: 18 ENVIRONMENTAL MANAGEMENT > 1805 Marine systems and management > 180501 Assessment and management of benthic marine ecosystems @ 100%
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