Study

The effects of marine reserve protection on the trophic relationships of reef fishes on the Great Barrier Reef

  • Published source details Graham N.A.J., Evans R.D. & Russ G.R. (2003) The effects of marine reserve protection on the trophic relationships of reef fishes on the Great Barrier Reef. Environmental Conservation, 30, 200-208.

Actions

This study is summarised as evidence for the following.

Action Category

Cease or prohibit all types of fishing in a marine protected area

Action Link
Marine Fish Conservation
  1. Cease or prohibit all types of fishing in a marine protected area

    A replicated, paired, site comparison study in 2001–2002 in two coral reef areas of the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park, Coral Sea, Australia (Graham et al. 2003) found that prohibiting all fishing in no-take zones resulted, after 14 years, in a decline in abundance of six of nine fish species that are prey for the fishery targeted coral trout Plectropomus spp. compared to fished zones, while the biomass of coral trout was higher. Average prey fish densities were lower in the no-take than fished zones for six of nine species (no-take: 8–342 fish/site, fished: 12–507 fish/site) and were similar for three (see paper for individual species data). In addition, overall coral trout biomass was greater in the no-take zones (9,790 g/1,500 m2) than the fished zones (3,420 g/1,500 m2). Fish data were collected in two areas of the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park using five, 50 × 6 m, belt transects at each site: the Whitsunday Island group was surveyed in December 2001 at eight sites in no-take zones (no fishing permitted, 14 years of protection) and eight in fished zones; and the Palm Island group was surveyed in April 2002 at eight sites in no-take zones (14.5 years of protection) and eight sites in fished zones. Sites were at least 100 m apart.

    (Summarised by: Khatija Alliji)

Output references
What Works 2021 cover

What Works in Conservation

What Works in Conservation provides expert assessments of the effectiveness of actions, based on summarised evidence, in synopses. Subjects covered so far include amphibians, birds, mammals, forests, peatland and control of freshwater invasive species. More are in progress.

More about What Works in Conservation

Download free PDF or purchase
The Conservation Evidence Journal

The Conservation Evidence Journal

An online, free to publish in, open-access journal publishing results from research and projects that test the effectiveness of conservation actions.

Read the latest volume: Volume 18

Go to the CE Journal

Discover more on our blog

Our blog contains the latest news and updates from the Conservation Evidence team, the Conservation Evidence Journal, and our global partners in evidence-based conservation.


Who uses Conservation Evidence?

Meet some of the evidence champions

Endangered Landscape Programme Red List Champion - Arc Kent Wildlife Trust The Rufford Foundation Save the Frogs - Ghana Bern wood Supporting Conservation Leaders National Biodiversity Network Sustainability Dashboard Frog Life The international journey of Conservation - Oryx British trust for ornithology Cool Farm Alliance UNEP AWFA Butterfly Conservation People trust for endangered species Vincet Wildlife Trust