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Boating activity in the Rottnest Island reserve, Western Australia

Smallwood, C.B. and Beckley, L.E. (2003) Boating activity in the Rottnest Island reserve, Western Australia. In: Australian Marine Sciences Association Conference (AMSA2003), 9 - 11 July, Brisbane, Australia.


The Rottnest Island Reserve is located 18km west of Fremantle in the warm temperate waters of Western Australia. It is visited by approximately 0.5 million people per year, of which an estimated 150,000 arrive by private vessel, making the reserve the most popular offshore boating destination in WA. A stratified survey collecting information on the numbers and types of boats visiting the reserve, and the activities undertaken by the passengers, has been conducted since January 2003. Results so far reveal high numbers of vessels visiting the reserve, especially on public holidays, with >700 boats recorded on Australia Day and the March Labour Day long weekend. Excluding long weekends, there is a general decline in numbers of boats visiting the island from summer to winter. A significant difference in numbers of boats is also evident between weekends and weekdays. In addition to the mooring areas designated by the Rottnest Island Authority, boats visit other areas around the island to participate in a range of activities. SCUBA diving, fishing and crayfishing appear to be the most popular activities conducted, although surfers are often transported by boats to the many surfing locations around Rottnest Island. This survey is the first attempt to provide data to aid the Rottnest Island Authority in decision making with respect to management of boating at the island.

Item Type: Conference Item
Murdoch Affiliation(s): School of Environmental Science
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