Are Speed Restriction Zones an effective management tool for minimising impacts of boats on dolphins in an Australian marine park?
The small, genetically distinct population of Indo-Pacific bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops aduncus) in Port Stephens, New South Wales (NSW), is the target of the largest dolphin-watching industry in Australia and falls within the recently created Port Stephens--Great Lakes Marine Park. The effectiveness of Speed Restriction Zones (SRZs) as a management tool in this area was investigated during their second year of implementation by comparing dolphin usage and behaviour to adjacent Control Zones (CZs) of similar habitat. For this purpose, boat-based surveys and focal follows of dolphin groups were carried out in the zones between August 2008 and August 2009. Results showed that SRZs were more intensely used by dolphin-watching boats in summer. There was no change in dolphins' behaviour and group structure in the presence of dolphin-watching boats in SRZs when compared to dolphin groups within CZs in any season. Dolphin groups including calves used SRZs less during summer. The latter may indicate a shift in area utilisation for those groups during intense boat traffic by dolphin-watching operators. CZs were more important than SRZs as foraging grounds for dolphins in summer. This indicates that SRZs as specified are not effective at minimising boating impacts and that the location of these zones should in time be revised. This is important information for management of dolphin-watching within this marine park and an example of adaptive management in progress. Moreover these results are relevant for conservation of dolphins and the management of dolphin-watching industries elsewhere, particularly new industries, where management strategies may incorporate marine protected areas including zoning plans.
If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:marpol:v:36:y:2012:i:1:p:258-264. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Dana Niculescu)
If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.
If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.
If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.
Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.