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Project 6.3: Spatial mapping of non-fishing recreational activities and associated values in Cockburn Sound

A report has been published for Project 6.3 on WAMSI’s website. In this article, the Westport team provides a summary of this report, its key findings, and what it means for Westport.

18 June 2024

Westport has partnered with the Western Australian Marine Science Institution (WAMSI) to deliver the $13.5 million WAMSI-Westport Marine Science Program. This 3-year program is developing the latest data, information and modelling on the complex environmental systems and community values associated with Cockburn Sound.


Project 6.3: Spatial mapping of non-fishing recreational activities and associated values in Cockburn Sound

Research Theme: Social Values

Researchers: M Hughes, H Kobryn, S Henningsen, M Burton, A Rogers, N Pauli, J Clifton, M Kim

Publication Date: February 2024 


The importance of Cockburn Sound for recreational users

Cockburn Sound provides a multitude of uses for industrial and recreational users. While it is a well-known and popular fishing location, there are many other recreational uses of the Sound. 

This research looked to understand the many other ways the WA community uses Cockburn Sound for recreation outside of fishing, and attribute economic values to those activities. 

Using an online questionnaire targeting communities and recreational groups that use the Sound, the survey asked respondents to identify all the different recreational activities they undertake in the Sound, along with the specific locations, frequency, and demographics. 

The findings have created a more detailed understanding of the broad recreational uses that Cockburn Sound provides to the WA community, over and above recreational fishing.  

Community access to Cockburn Sound will continue with the development of the proposed container terminal in Kwinana, with new community amenities being explored as part of the planning process. 

This research has given Westport a broader view of the recreational uses of the Sound, ensuring these activities are considered and that planning for Westport supports the WA community’s long-standing recreational use of the Sound. 


What the report found

  • Excluding fishing, there were 31 other recreation uses identified in Cockburn Sound.
  • These recreational activities are occurring right across the Sound, with a concentration in activities at the northern end (Woodman Point) and southern end of the Sound, likely due to the facilities provided there.
  • 16 land-based activities were mapped, including picnicking, dog walking, horse beach riding, birdwatching, running and walking.
  • 15 water-based activities were mapped, including kayaking, kiteboarding, sailing, scuba dicing and swimming.
  • 75% of survey respondents were a member of one of the local recreation clubs.


You can read the full report here.

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