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Quantifying the efficacy of a spatio-temporal management intervention on human-dolphin interactions in Hawai’i

Tyne, J.ORCID: 0000-0002-0676-5659, Pollock, K., Johnston, D. and Bejder, L. (2011) Quantifying the efficacy of a spatio-temporal management intervention on human-dolphin interactions in Hawai’i. In: 48th Annual Conference of the Australian Marine Science Association, 3 - 7 July, Fremantle, Western Australia.

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Hawaiian spinner dolphins (Stenella longirostris) have predictable daily movement patterns, foraging offshore at night and returning to inshore sheltered bays to rest during daytime. This set movement pattern may render them particularly vulnerable to disturbance because of their reliance on the limited availability of sheltered waters to rest, socialise and avoid predators. The extent and rapid growth of tourism targeting spinner dolphins in their resting habitat in Hawai’i have raised concerns about the potential negative impacts. One proposed management intervention to reduce the number and intensity of human-dolphin interactions is to implement time-area closures. To measure the effectiveness of this mitigation approach a Before-After-Control-Impact (BACI) design is being employed to asses the local abundance, distribution and behaviour of spinner dolphins in five resting bays before and after the implementation of time-area closures. Specifically, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, are introducing time-area closures in resting bays off the Big Island of Hawaii, but not implemented until a full year of pre-closure data has been collected. Since September 2010 systematic boat based dolphin photographic identification surveys have been carried out each month and in each bay on consecutive days – following Pollock’s Robust Design. The objectives of this design are to (1) quantify the abundance of the spinner dolphin population across the study area (2) determine movement patterns of spinner dolphins between bays (3) determine spinner dolphin habitat use in resting bays (4) quantify spinner dolphin exposure to human activities within resting bays and outside resting bays; and lastly (5) to determine the effectiveness of time-area closures as a mitigation approach to human-dolphin interactions.

Item Type: Conference Item
Murdoch Affiliation(s): Centre for Fish and Fisheries Research
School of Biological Sciences and Biotechnology
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