Assessing the effects of changes in Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Zoning plans on southern mid-shelf shoals (MTSRF Project 4.8.2)

Surveys were undertaken in February/March 2007 (Autumn), August/September 2007 (Spring) and October 2009 (Spring) on two pairs of discrete deepwater shoals in the mid-shelf section of the southern Great Barrier Reef. The objective was to find pairs of shoals that were matched in terms of depth, habitat, areal extent, cross shelf position and latitude. Within each pair, one shoal was to be from a 'green zone' (closed to all fishing) and the other from a 'blue zone' (open to fishing), based on the rezoning of the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park, carried out in 2004. The pairs of reefs chosen were: East Warregos (green) and West Warregos (blue); Barcoo Bank (green) and Karamea Bank (blue). The bathymetry of each shoal was surveyed in detail by multibeam acoustic swathe mapping prior to sampling of fish and benthic habitat. A lightweight towed video system developed by AIMS was used to survey seabed habitats on and around the four shoal sites over the first two trips. Baited Remote Underwater Video Stations (BRUVS (TM)) were used to sample the fish communities on each shoal on all three cruises.

This study was undertaken to describe the fish fauna in relation to habitat and spatial and temporal variables on selected deep shoals of the southern region of the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park.

This is one component in a series of surveys conducted as part of this MTSRF project, see also separate metadata records on: Reef base shoals (Capricorn-Bunker, Pompey and Swains Groups) Shoals off Cardwell Shoals off Cairns Magnetic Shoals (Townsville) Related AIMS Publications Stowar MJ, De'ath AG, Doherty PJ, Johansson C, Speare PJ and Venables W (2008) Influence of zoning on midshelf shoals from the southern Great Barrier Reef. Report to the Marine and Tropical Sciences Research Facility. Reef and Rainforest Research Centre and Australian Institute of Marine Science. 90 p. http://data.aims.gov.au/extp...leId=8128 Cappo MC, De'ath AG, Stowar MJ, Johannson C and Doherty PJ (2009) The influence of zoning (closure to fishing) on fish communities of the deep shoals and reef bases of the southern Great Barrier Reef. Part 2 - Development of protocols to improve accuracy in baited video techniques used to detect effects of zoning. MTSRF Research Report No. 38 ISBN 9781921359378. Reef and Rainforest Research Centre and Australian Institute of Marine Science. 44 p. http://data.aims.gov.au/extp...leId=8250 Cappo MC, Stowar MJ and MacNeil MA (2010) The influence of zoning (closure to fishing) on fish communities of the deep shoals and reef bases of the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park. Result of repeated surveys of the southern bank and Cardwell shoals, and an overview with regional comparisons. Reef and Rainforest Research Centre. 63 p. http://data.aims.gov.au/extp...leId=8602 Cappo MC, Stowar MJ, Stieglitz TC, Lawrey E, Johansson C and MacNeil MA (2012) Measuring and communicating effects of MPAs on deep "shoal" fisheries. p. ICRS2012_18A_1. In: Yellowlees D and Hughes TP (eds) Proceedings of the 12th International Coral Reef Symposium. James Cook University. http://data.aims.gov.au/extp...leId=9208

Principal Investigator
Doherty, Peter J, Dr Australian Institute of Marine Science (AIMS)
Point Of Contact
Cappo, Michael Australian Institute of Marine Science (AIMS) reception@aims.gov.au

Data collected from 03 Feb 2007 until 13 Nov 2009


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Tags: Oceans - Coastal Processes - Shoals | Biosphere - Aquatic Ecosystems - Benthic Habitat | Biosphere - Ecological Dynamics - Community Dynamics , Community Structure | Human Dimensions - Environmental Impacts - Environmental Assessments | Marine Protected Areas | Representative Areas Program | Marine Park zoning