Adaptive management of the Great Barrier Reef: a globally significant demonstration of the benefits of networks of marine reserves

McCook, Laurence J., Ayling, Tony, Cappo, Mike, Choat, J. Howard, Evans, Richard D., De Freitas, Debora M., Heupel, Michelle, Hughes, Terry P., Jones, Geoffrey P., Mapstone, Bruce, Marsh, Helene, Mills, Morena, Molloy, Fergus J., Pitcher, C. Roland, Pressey, Robert L., Russ, Garry R., Sutton, Stephen, Sweatman, Hugh, Tobin, Renae, Wachenfeld, David R. and Williamson, David H. (2010) Adaptive management of the Great Barrier Reef: a globally significant demonstration of the benefits of networks of marine reserves. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 107 43: 18278-18285. doi:10.1073/pnas.0909335107


Author McCook, Laurence J.
Ayling, Tony
Cappo, Mike
Choat, J. Howard
Evans, Richard D.
De Freitas, Debora M.
Heupel, Michelle
Hughes, Terry P.
Jones, Geoffrey P.
Mapstone, Bruce
Marsh, Helene
Mills, Morena
Molloy, Fergus J.
Pitcher, C. Roland
Pressey, Robert L.
Russ, Garry R.
Sutton, Stephen
Sweatman, Hugh
Tobin, Renae
Wachenfeld, David R.
Williamson, David H.
Title Adaptive management of the Great Barrier Reef: a globally significant demonstration of the benefits of networks of marine reserves
Journal name Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0027-8424
1091-6490
Publication date 2010-10-01
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1073/pnas.0909335107
Volume 107
Issue 43
Start page 18278
End page 18285
Total pages 8
Place of publication Washington, United States
Publisher National Academy of Sciences
Collection year 2013
Language eng
Abstract The Great Barrier Reef (GBR) provides a globally significant demonstration of the effectiveness of large-scale networks of marine reserves in contributing to integrated, adaptive management. Comprehensive review of available evidence shows major, rapid benefits of no-take areas for targeted fish and sharks, in both reef and nonreef habitats, with potential benefits for fisheries as well as biodiversity conservation. Large, mobile species like sharks benefit less than smaller, site-attached fish. Critically, reserves also appear to benefit overall ecosystem health and resilience: outbreaks of coral-eating, crown-of-thorns starfish appear less frequent on no-take reefs, which consequently have higher abundance of coral, the very foundation of reef ecosystems. Effective marine reserves require regular review of compliance: fish abundances in no-entry zones suggest that even no-take zones may be significantly depleted due to poaching. Spatial analyses comparing zoning with seabed biodiversity or dugong distributions illustrate significant benefits from application of best-practice conservation principles in data-poor situations. Increases in the marine reserve network in 2004 affected fishers, but preliminary economic analysis suggests considerable net benefits, in terms of protecting environmental and tourism values. Relative to the revenue generated by reef tourism, current expenditure on protection is minor. Recent implementation of an Outlook Report provides regular, formal review of environmental condition and management and links to policy responses, key aspects of adaptive management. Given the major threat posed by climate change, the expanded network of marine reserves provides a critical and cost-effective contribution to enhancing the resilience of the Great Barrier Reef.
Keyword Biodiversity protection
Spatial planning and zoning
Social and ecological resilience
Coral reefs
Economic cost benefit analysis
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Institutional Status Non-UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collection: Global Change Institute Publications
 
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