Free Content Strategic roles of marine protected areas in ecosystem scale conservation

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Responses by management to an increasing range of human uses and impacts on marine ecosystems are a recent phenomenon. They are developing alongside traditional sectoral management of fisheries, shipping, and coastal land uses. Many regimes have been developed for approaching the tasks of integrating management of coastal and marine ecosystems. The role of marine protected areas and conservation agencies in such regimes is often a matter of contention. The application of International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) protected-area categories to marine ecosystems can cover the broadest range of management regimes, from strict nature reserves with no fishing or collecting to multiple, verifiably environmentally sustainable, levels of use and impact. Here, I address the roles that protected areas and other management categories can play in relation to the multiple scales and strategic objectives for management of marine ecosystems. I draw on experiences of planning, management, and community response to the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park to discuss the opportunities and challenges of using protected-area categories and other strategies in management for conservation and reasonable multiple use at the ecosystem scale.

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: April 1, 2010

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  • The Bulletin of Marine Science is dedicated to the dissemination of high quality research from the world's oceans. All aspects of marine science are treated by the Bulletin of Marine Science, including papers in marine biology, biological oceanography, fisheries, marine affairs, applied marine physics, marine geology and geophysics, marine and atmospheric chemistry, and meteorology and physical oceanography.
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