Marine protected areas (MPAs) provide an important tool to counter the rapid degradation of the world’s oceans but are often controversial because their creation and management may restrict fishing and resource development. In 2014, MPAs covered 3.4% of the global ocean area. In 2014-2015, researchers at the Murdoch University, University of Queensland, and the University of Western Australia, in cooperation with the Western Australia Marine Science Institution, conducted a participatory mapping study of Western Australia residents and stakeholders to identify coastal and marine values and management preferences for the Kimberley Region in Western Australia. Over 15,000 value and management preference locations were mapped by study participants (n=578). The spatial data was analyzed by stakeholder group based on group identity (e.g., oil/gas, tourism, environmental NGO) or expressed interest in the region (e.g., tourism, conservation, resource development). Of particular interest was how different stakeholder groups mapped management preferences for five proposed marine protected areas in the study region. Conservation-related values and preferences dominated the mapped results for all proposed marine reserves, but some differences were present between stakeholder groups. A journal article describing the results is provided here. You can view the mapped values and preferences from the study by clicking on the map image below. Please be patient as Google Maps is loading over 15,000 markers!!!
Click on the map image below to view the location of mapped values and preferences from the Kimberley study:
For more information about the study, contact Greg Brown.