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Understanding Recreational Fishers’ Compliance with No-take Zones in the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park

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Type: Journal Article
Author: Arias, Adrian; Sutton, Stephen G.
Journal: Ecology and Society
Volume: 18
Date: 2013
URI: https://hdl.handle.net/10535/9230
Sector: Fisheries
Region: Pacific and Australia
Subject(s): compliance
Great Barrier Reef
protected areas
marine resources
Abstract: "Understanding fishers’ compliance is essential for the successful management of marine protected areas. We used the random response technique (RRT) to assess recreational fishers’ compliance with no-take zones in the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park (GBRMP). The RRT allowed the asking of a sensitive question, i.e., 'Did you, knowingly, fish within in a Green Zone during the last 12 months?' while protecting respondents’ confidentiality. Application of the RRT through a survey of recreational fishers indicated that the majority of recreational fishers, 90%, comply with no-take zones. Likewise, most fishers, 92%, reported not personally knowing anyone who had intentionally fished in a no-take zone, indicating that fishers’ perceive high levels of compliance among their peers. Fishers were motivated to comply with no-take zones primarily by their beliefs about penalties for noncompliance, followed by beliefs about the fishery benefits of no-take zones. Results suggest that compliance-related communication efforts by the managing authority have partially succeeded in maintaining appropriate compliance levels and that future efforts should accentuate normative compliance drivers that will encourage voluntary compliance. We conclude that compliance monitoring should be integrated into the adaptive management of the GBRMP and other protected areas; in this case social surveys using the RRT are effective tools."

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