Study

Ongoing effects of no-take marine reserves on commercially exploited coral trout populations on the Great Barrier Reef

  • Published source details Miller I., Cheal A.J., Emslie M.J., Logan M. & Sweatman H. (2012) Ongoing effects of no-take marine reserves on commercially exploited coral trout populations on the Great Barrier Reef. Marine Environmental Research, 79, 167-170.

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 2004–2010 of five coral reef regions in the Great Barrier Reef Marine Reserve, Australia (Miller et al. 2012) found that reefs closed to fishing for two to six years had greater numbers of coral trout Plectropomus/Variola spp., compared to fished reefs. Across all years and reef regions, the total number of coral trout was greater at reefs closed to fishing (0.8–0.9 fish/tow) than open reefs (0.4–0.6 fish/tow). Similarly, overall coral trout number at each of the five individual reef regions was higher at sites closed to fishing (Cairns: 0.2–0.3 fish/tow; Townsville: 0.5–0.7; Mackay: 1–1.1; Swains: 1.4–2.6; Capricorn Bunker: 0.5–0.8) compared to their paired, fished sites (Cairns: 0.1–0.2 fish/tow; Townsville: 0.1–0.2; Mackay: 0.1–0.5; Swains: 0.2–1.3; Capricorn Bunker: 0.2–0.4). In 2004, the Great Barrier Reef was rezoned to create no–take marine reserves. In 2006–2010, a total of 28 pairs of reefs were surveyed across five reef regions, 25–450 km apart (six pairs in each region except Capricorn Bunker, where four pairs were surveyed). Each reef pair was one reef closed to fishing and one fished (0-1 km apart). Fish at each reef site were sampled by the manta tow method, where 10 m-wide areas of reef slope are surveyed at a time by an observer towed behind a small boat, for two minutes. Paired sites were surveyed within 12 months of each other on a biennial basis over six years.

    (Summarised by: Khatija Alliji)

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