The department, in partnership with DSITIA, CSIRO, Griffith University, University of Queensland, the Queensland Ornithological Society and the then Department of Employment, Economic Development and Innovation, has completed a comprehensive 5 year monitoring program in Moreton Bay Marine Park as part of the 2009 zoning plan review.
The program investigated the full range of ecological, economic and social outcomes of the zoning plan. It was a significant investment by the department and partner organisations, and has built on existing knowledge already gathered about the marine park.
Some of the issues that have been examined through the monitoring program include:
- how the condition, structure and function of key habitat types are influenced by activities affected by the new zoning
- the impact of the new zoning on the abundance of fish and invertebrates across different zone types, also compared to before the zoning plan was implemented
- how the zoning influences use of the marine park and businesses servicing those users
- tracking how community perceptions of the marine park and reasons for visiting change over time.
The monitoring program used a number of different study types, including pot and line fishing inside and outside of marine national park (green) zones, deploying 'bait cams' (baited underwater video cameras) and even remotely piloted aircraft to monitor compliance.
While the program took a collaborative approach, the independence of research teams is important and was ensured through the program. Another key strength of the program was the opportunity to develop before and after impact studies with data gathered both prior to the release and implementation of the new zoning plan as well as post-implementation.
The monitoring program was primarily focused on aspects of the marine park that can be influenced by marine park management and zoning, however it has also integrated with existing monitoring programs such as the Ecosystem Health Monitoring Program (EHMP). This allowed greater opportunities for increasing knowledge about Moreton Bay and maximised the use of available monitoring data.
Results from the monitoring program are being collated and will help marine park managers to make well-informed decisions, ultimately ensuring the best outcomes for the marine park.
Further updates on the monitoring program will be provided as they become available.
Find out more
- Moreton Bay Marine Park Monitoring Program - February 2012 update report
- The science behind the zoning plan
- Download the zoning plan maps
- Why marine reserves are important
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