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High resolution mapping of reef utilisation by humans in Ningaloo Marine Park

Beckley, L., Smallwood, C., Moore, S., Kobryn, H., Jones, C., Nieman, J. and Lombard, M. (2007) High resolution mapping of reef utilisation by humans in Ningaloo Marine Park. In: Ningaloo Marine Park Symposium, 24 - 25 July, Perth, Western Australia.


This project forms part of the Wealth from Oceans Flagship Ningaloo Collaboration Cluster. The main objectives are (1) to determine the spatial and temporal distribution of recreational activities (e.g., fishing, diving, snorkelling, kayaking, surfing etc) within the reef lagoon system at Ningaloo Marine Park (NMP) and (2) to relate distribution patterns to factors such as biodiversity, physical conditions, park zoning, access roads and accommodation nodes.

During 2007, the project is in an intensive field work stage with aerial and coastal surveys being conducted throughout the year. Aerial and coastal surveys cover the entire 300 km length of the NMP and type and location of all shore-based recreational activities and boating activity in the lagoon are recorded in a geo-referenced format for input into a Geographical Information System. For logistical reasons, land-based coastal surveys, conducted using a four wheel drive vehicle, are split into three areas: Exmouth to Yardie Creek, Yardie Creek to Coral Bay and Coral Bay to Red Bluff. These land-based surveys also provide the opportunity for researchers to interview people engaged in recreational activities in the NMP in order to obtain information on demographics (e.g., tourist/local), trip duration, travel and site-specific usage patterns, other activities conducted in the NMP, catch and effort by recreational fishers (to supplement the Department of Fisheries Gascoyne creel survey), preferred launching sites etc.

The results of the project will contribute directly to the integrated ecosystem and socio-economic model being developed for the Ningaloo region through the Collaboration Cluster. It is expected that the quantitative information from the human use mapping project will have the required spatial and temporal resolution to assist local managers with predicting the likely consequences of future coastal development and changes in management regimes in the region.

Publication Type: Conference Item
Murdoch Affiliation: School of Environmental Science
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