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A spatial and temporal framework for historical human usage data in the Ningaloo Marine Park

Smallwood, C.B., Beckley, L.E. and Moore, S.A. (2007) A spatial and temporal framework for historical human usage data in the Ningaloo Marine Park. In: Australian Coral Reef Society 83rd Annual Conference, 9 - 11 October, Fremantle, Western Australia.


Worldwide, the investigation of human usage patterns in marine protected areas has not previously been a priority for conservation managers. However, increased visitation and impacts from the wide variety of recreational activities being undertaken, particularly in multiple-use marine parks, have highlighted the importance of monitoring these activities to ensure the sustainable use and future management of these areas. Ningaloo Reef is the largest fringing coral reef in Australia extending ~ 300km along the Western Australian coast from North West Cape to Red Bluff. The Ningaloo Marine Park (NMP), originally gazetted in 1987, was extended southwards in 2004 to encompass the whole of this area. A wide variety of shore and boat-based recreational activities, such as fishing, SCUBA diving, snorkelling, kayaking and surfing, are known to occur in the NMP and camping is popular along the adjacent coastal strip. As part of the CSIRO Wealth from Oceans Ningaloo Collaboration Cluster, a project is underway to determine the spatial and temporal patterns of human usage in the NMP. To complement this current project, all available historical human use datasets relating to the NMP and adjacent coastal strip were collated and reviewed. These datasets include; long term monitoring of camping, vehicle counts, recreational fishing and boating surveys by relevant state government agencies, as well as various university managed projects investigating tourism. This information has been summarised to highlight the time periods for which these data exist, their spatial extent and key findings. Whilst these data provide an indication of activities in parts of the NMP during the specific project timeframes, few encompass the whole NMP and the collection of the majority of this information has been at a relatively coarse spatial scale. This review has highlighted the need for further collection of human usage data at appropriate temporal and spatial scales in order to provide decision support for the management of recreational activities in the NMP.

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