Hinchinbrook Area Boater’s Opinions Of and Compliance With Dugong Conservation Initiatives
KeywordsAustralia: Natural and Cultural Ecology
Natural Resources Management and Policy
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AbstractTaking into consideration past history of the area this report aims to examine the views of Hinchinbrook Area boaters and fishermen regarding conservation initiatives and indigenous hunting. A combination of surveying local boaters using a questionnaire and interviews conducted with local experts and people involved in dugong conservation resulted in both numeric results and many personal opinions. Conservation initiatives include voluntary speed guidelines, voluntary transit lanes, and a Traditional Use of Marine Resource Agreement. Boaters’ opinions and compliance with all the initiatives was examined using a questionnaire which included a True or False section, personal opinions, compliance, and sighting information. While knowledge of transit lanes and Native Title hunting legislation was found to be high, knowledge of the TUMRA and speed guidelines was found to be lower. General compliance with guidelines and transit lanes was found to be low especially among frequent users of the Hinchinbrook area. Unsolicited comments were also taken into consideration when evaluating respondent’s opinions on indigenous hunting as well as the management of the Hinchinbrook waterways. Interviews were mainly used in the examination of possibilities for future management and advertising of current initiatives, the creation of a community based conservation group and the possibly for altering current educational programs.