Action: Limit, cease or prohibit recreational boating
Key messagesRead our guidance on Key messages before continuing
- We found no studies that evaluated the effects of limiting, ceasing or prohibiting recreational fishing and/or harvesting on subtidal benthic invertebrate populations.
‘We found no studies’ means that we have not yet found any studies that have directly evaluated this intervention during our systematic journal and report searches. Therefore, we have no evidence to indicate whether or not the intervention has any desirable or harmful effects.
Recreational boating, including powerboats, sailboats, or man-powered vessels such as rowing and paddle boats, can impact subtidal benthic invertebrates through physical damage from anchors and propellers (Lloret et al. 2008; Milazzo et al. 2002; Whitfield et al. 2002), disturbance from fast flowing water or suspension of sediments, or pollution (Hammerstrom et al. 2007). Recreational boating could be limited in one area, by restricting the activity in space and time (limits on duration and occurrence, delimiting allowed areas). Boating could also be ceased by setting a permanent or temporary closure (e.g. seasonal closure), or prohibited through bylaws. This may help reduce the intensity of the threats associated with these activities and potentially allow subtidal benthic invertebrate communities to persist or recover over time. When restrictions of recreational boating occur in the context of a marine protected area, evidence is summarised under “Habitat protection”, including “Habitat protection - Designate a Marine Protected Area and set a no-anchoring zone”.
Hammerstrom K.K., Kenworthy W.J., Whitfield P.E. & Merello M.F. (2007) Response and recovery dynamics of seagrasses Thalassia testudinum and Syringodium filiforme and macroalgae in experimental motor vessel disturbances. Marine Ecology Progress Series 345,83–92.
Lloret J., Zaragoza N., Caballero D. & Riera V. (2008) Impacts of recreational boating on the marine environment of Cap de Creus (Mediterranean Sea). Ocean & Coastal Management, 51, 749–754.
Milazzo M., Chemello R., Badalamenti F., Camarda R. & Riggio S. (2002) The impact of human recreational activities in Marine Protected Areas: What lessons should be learnt in the Mediterranean Sea? Marine Ecology, 23, 280–290.
Whitfield P., Kenworthy W., Hammerstrom K. & Fonseca M. (2002) The Role of a Hurricane in the Expansion of Disturbances Initiated by Motor Vessels on Seagrass Banks. Journal of Coastal Research, 86–99.