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Human use


Human use patterns, impacts, values and aspirations for coast waters of the Western Kimberley

Other Details: 

Kimberly Marine Research Program: Project 2.1.1
Location: Kimberley Coast - Eighty Mile Beach to Northern Territory border
Project Leader: Lynnath Beckley, Murdoch University
Telephone: 9360 6392

Final Report

Human use patterns and impacts for coastal waters of the Kimberley_WAMSI KMRP Report 2.1.1_Beckley L.E. 2015 FINAL

Project Aims

  • To benchmark the spatial and temporal distribution patterns of boat and shore based human use in coastal waters off the Kimberley Coast.

Project Methods

  • Monthly aerial surveys‐ document human use of the coastal waters and shores remotely by plane by recording: access tracks, boats, trailers, cars, coastal campsites.
  • Desk top study of potential impacts of human use along the Kimberley Coast.
  • Desk top assessment of visitation by expedition cruise vessels along the remote Kimberley Coast.

Proposed location for the project

  • Derby to Broome coastline
  • Kimberley coastline and nearshore waters.

Project duration August 2012‐June 2015


  • Current human impacts and risks identified and predicted in the coastal waters of the Kimberley
  • Improved capacity to plan and manage the Kimberley marine parks and reserves
  • Better planning and management of tourism, recreational and commercial fisheries, pearling and aquaculture in the coastal waters of the Kimberley
  • Assessment of “value for money” and effectiveness of Government‐funded conservation and management programs in the coastal waters of the Kimberley
  • Improved knowledge transfer of social values and human impacts and uptake into policy, planning and management in Western Australia.


  1. Aerial surveys generate first human activity maps for the Kimberley coast (WAMSI)
  2. Broome boat ramp study indicates boating popularity (WAMSI)
  3. Human use study confirms Kimberley’s top tourist cruise destinations (WAMSI)
  4. Researchers take a snapshot of how we use the Kimberley coast (ABC)
  5. ABC TV news coverage of coastal use survey


Beckley L.E. Is the Kimberley coast still a pristine wilderness? 2017 WAMSI Research Conference. (audioPresentation slides

Beckley, L.E., Fisher, E. & Davies, H. 2014. Cumulative visitation by expedition cruise vessels along the remote Kimberley coast. Australian Marine Sciences Association Conference, Canberra.

Beckley, L.E. 2015. Benchmarking human use of Eighty Mile Beach Marine Park prior to implementation of the management plan.  2015 WAMSI Conference, Perth. (audio) Presentation slides