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Establishing representative no-take areas over 1/3 of the Great Barrier Reef: large-scale implementation of Marine Protected Area theory with lessons for global application


Fernandes, L and Day, J and Lewis, A and Slegers, S and Kerrigan, B and Breen, D and Cameron, D and Jago, B and Hall, J and Lowe, D and Innes, J and Tanzer, J and Chadwick, V and Thompson, L and Gorman, K and Simmons, M and Barnett, B and Sampson, K and De'ath, G and Mapstone, BD and Marsh, H and Possingham, H and Ball, I and Ward, T and Dobbs, K and Aumend, J and Slater, D and Stapleton, K, Establishing representative no-take areas over 1/3 of the Great Barrier Reef: large-scale implementation of Marine Protected Area theory with lessons for global application, Conservation Biology, 19, (6) pp. 1733-1744. ISSN 0888-8892 (2005) [Refereed Article]

DOI: doi:10.1111/j.1523-1739.2005.00302.x


The Great Barrier Reef Marine Park, an area almost the size of Japan, has a new network of no-take areas that significantly improves the protection of biodiversity. The new marine park zoning implements, in a quantitative manner, many of the theoretical design principles discussed in the literature. For example, the new network of no-take areas has at least 20% protection per "bioregion," minimum levels of protection for all known habitats and special or unique features, and minimum sizes for no-take areas of at least 10 or 20 km across at the smallest diameter. Overall, more than 33% of the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park is now in no-take areas (previously 4.5%). The steps taken leading to this outcome were to clarify to the interested public why the existing level of protection was inadequate; detail the conservation objectives of establishing new no-take areas; work with relevant and independent experts to define, and contribute to, the best scientific process to deliver on the objectives; describe the biodiversity (e.g., map bioregions); define operational principles needed to achieve the objectives; invite community input on all of the above; gather and layer the data gathered in round-table discussions; report the degree of achievement of principles for various options of no-take areas; and determine how to address negative impacts. Some of the key success factors in this case have global relevance and include focusing initial communication on the problem to be addressed; applying the precautionary principle; using independent experts; facilitating input to decision making; conducting extensive and participatory consultation; having an existing marine park that encompassed much of the ecosystem; having legislative power under federal law; developing high-level support; ensuring agency priority and ownership; and being able to address the issue of displaced fishers. ©2005 Society for Conservation Biology.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Research Division:Biological Sciences
Research Group:Ecology
Research Field:Freshwater ecology
Objective Division:Environmental Management
Objective Group:Other environmental management
Objective Field:Other environmental management not elsewhere classified
UTAS Author:Mapstone, BD (Professor Bruce Mapstone)
ID Code:48336
Year Published:2005
Web of Science® Times Cited:434
Deposited By:CRC-Antarctic Climate & Ecosystems
Deposited On:2007-10-05
Last Modified:2007-10-05

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