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Conservation of the Critically Endangered Eastern Australian Population of the Grey Nurse Shark (Carcharias taurus) Through Cross-Jurisdictional Management of a Network of Marine-Protected Areas

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Lynch, TP and Harcourt, R and Barrett, NS and Edgar, GJ (2013) Conservation of the Critically Endangered Eastern Australian Population of the Grey Nurse Shark (Carcharias taurus) Through Cross-Jurisdictional Management of a Network of Marine-Protected Areas. Environmental Management, 52. pp. 1341-1354. ISSN 0362-152X

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Abstract

Between 2001 and 2009, 26 marine-protected
areas (MPA) were established on the east Australian seaboard,
at least in part, to manage human interactions with a
critically endangered population of grey nurse shark,
Carcharias taurus. This network is spread across six MPA
systems and includes all 19 sites outlined in the National
Recovery Plan for C. taurus, though five sites remain open
to some forms of fishing. The reserve network has complex
cross-jurisdictional management, as the sharks occur in
waters controlled by the Australian states of New South
Wales (NSW) and Queensland, as well as by the Commonwealth
(Federal) government. Jurisdiction is further
complicated by fisheries and conservation departments
both engaging in management activities within each state.
This has resulted in protected area types that include IUCN
category II equivalent zones in NSW, Queensland, and
Commonwealth marine parks that either overlay or complement
another large scaled network of protected sites
called critical habitats. Across the network, seven and
eight rule permutations for diving and fishing, respectively,
are applied to this population of sharks. Besides sites
identified by the recovery plan, additional sites have been
protected as part of the general development of MPA
networks. A case study at one of these sites, which historically
was known to be occupied by C. taurus but had
been abandoned, appears to shows re-establishment of an
aggregation of juvenile and sub-adult sharks. Concurrent
with the re-establishment of the aggregation, a local dive
operator increased seasonal dive visitation rates at the site
fourfold. As a precautionary measure, protection of abandoned
sites, which includes nursery and gestating female
habitats are options that may assist recovery of the east
coast population of C. taurus.

Item Type: Article
Keywords: Precautionary principle SCUBA Fishing Threatened species Philopatry Dive tourism
Journal or Publication Title: Environmental Management
Page Range: pp. 1341-1354
ISSN: 0362-152X
Identification Number - DOI: 10.1007/s00267-013-0174-x
Additional Information:

Copyright 2013 Springer

Date Deposited: 24 Feb 2014 02:56
Last Modified: 18 Nov 2014 04:59
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