Dataset: WAMSI Node 3.2.2a - Ecosystem Effects of fishing on Ningaloo Reef: Broadscale fish surveys


The Ningaloo Marine Park (State Waters) Plan 1989 was designated A class in 1990. A review of the Management Plan began in 2000; this resulted in a revised Management Plan being approved by the Minister in January 2005. Changes in the current Management Plan include extending the Marine Park southwards to incorporate the full extent of the reef, increasing the number and extent of Sanctuary Zones, introducing Special Purpose Benthic Protection and shore-based line fishing zones. The purpose of this project is to assess the effectiveness of 1989 Management Plan and also provide what will become the first data point in a long-term data set. These data will become an integral part of several sections of the NRP, evaluating the effectiveness of zoning for biodiversity conservation, assessing the implications of zoning for fish populations and for fishing outside sanctuary zones. The surveys will provide data not only for newly established zones, but also for those zones already established within the park under previous zoning provisions. Where possible the survey will build on existing data sets, though these are limited in scope and spatial extent. Objectives For fish taxa targeted by anglers (e.g. labridae, lethrinidae, lutjanidae, serranidae, carangidae): - Measure the distribution, abundance and size-structure of key fish populations at Ningaloo - Provide data that will allow a quantitative comparison of these parameters to be made across Ningaloo Marine Park zones (pre-2005 sanctuary zones, new sanctuary zones, benthic protection zones, recreational zones and general use zones). - Provide data that will form the basis for being able to: - Measure the rate and magnitude of any changes in fish population size or structure related to changes in marine park zoning - Determine how responses of fish populations may vary with respect to factors such as size of reserve, type of reserve, distance from boundary and fish life-history - Parameterize and test spatially-explicit models of fish populations.

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