Regional Impact Assessment Statements for marine park sanctuary zones at Ceduna, Port Wakefield and Kangaroo Island
Assoc Professor Michael O’Neil, SA Centre for Economic Studies
SA Centre for Economic Studies, University of Adelaide, DEWNR
Water for Industry
Mining & Outback Water
The objective of the project was to investigate the economic, social and environmental impacts of marine park sanctuary zones (SZs) on the South Australian communities of Ceduna, Kangaroo Island and Port Wakefield, following the State Government’s methodology for the preparation of Regional Impact Assessment Statements (RIAS).
The RIAS was undertaken using a mixed methods approach involving analysis of existing economic and social indicators, including commercial fisheries data; economic modelling to estimate broader flow-on economic impacts for the regions; consultations with regional stakeholders; and conduct of a community survey to gauge community attitudes.
Progress Update and Key Findings
Some indication was found of negative impact for small groups of individual marine scalefish fishery fishers in Port Wakefield and Kangaroo Island. No major negative regional economic impacts were identified with the impacts to date appearing to be less significant than forecast in the previous RIAS. However, further analysis in the future will ultimately be required to assess the actual economic and social impacts given the limitations described above.
A number of general issues were identified and summarised in the project report including equity concerns, perceptions of a reduction in recreational fishing, excessive fishing effort in remaining areas, safety concerns, illegal fishing in SZs etc.
SACES worked closely with a variety of State Government agencies during the project including DEWNR, PIRSA, SARDI, and consulted related agencies such as natural resource management boards and regional economic development boards.
In order to improve State Government uptake of the research findings, SACES presented the results of the research to the State Government Marine Parks Regional Impacts Working Group, relevant Ministers and the chief ministerial adviser.
Adoption and Impact
The project has contributed to water resource management for economic growth given the objective of identifying and monitoring regional economic impacts related to SZs that are designed to protect the marine environment, and are consequently expected to have long-term ecological benefits and associated socio-economic benefits. As recommendations were made to guide DEWNR’s selection of indicators as part of its monitoring framework, the project also contributed to the capacity objective of adaptive management systems and tools that can be picked up and used by policy makers within state government.