A new project aims to identify the non-fishing activities in Cockburn Sound to assess the recreational use of the bay and the values it provides.
The University of Western Australia and Murdoch University are working with the Western Australian Marine Science Institution and the Westport Program on the two-year project to better understand how the area is accessed and used, provide economic valuation for key recreational sites, and help inform future development plans.
Dr Milena Kim, from UWA’s School of Agriculture and Environment, said Cockburn Sound was the most heavily used bay in Western Australia.
“It hosts a huge range of activities and is highly valued by many different users, including for many types of recreational activity,” Dr Kim said.
“While recreational fishing is an extremely important and well-known activity in Cockburn Sound, less is known about how and why the bay is used for other types of recreational activity.”
The research team is using an online mapping survey technique that asks the public to provide information about how and where they use the bay for recreation and the values people associate with the activities.
The survey will help inform future development by providing key data on recreational activity use, values, and spatial conflicts and how these may be influenced by further development in the bay.