Sections

Services

Information

UK United Kingdom

Australia’s new marine protected areas: why they won’t work

On land and in the sea, we’re losing sight of what nature conservation is about. We’ve become dangerously focused on protected areas, but rarely consider what they’re supposed to achieve. One result is…

Australia’s marine parks are all show, no substance, so why are conservation groups so supportive? AAP Image/Dean Lewins

On land and in the sea, we’re losing sight of what nature conservation is about. We’ve become dangerously focused on protected areas, but rarely consider what they’re supposed to achieve. One result is that biodiversity is declining almost everywhere while protected areas expand.

Why the apparent paradox? An important reason is that protected areas tend to be in the wrong places. On land, it’s a safe generalisation that protected areas are biased to “residual” places - those with least promise for commercial uses. In some regions, this is because only residual landscapes survive in anything like their natural state.

But another important factor is political pragmatism. Electorates in many countries like the idea of nature conservation but are undiscerning about exactly what this means. Governments can therefore present residual protected areas - and the more extensive the better - as real progress for conservation. The incentive for residual conservation is to minimise financial and political cost.

As systems of marine protected areas expand, their residual nature is becoming obvious too. One of the world’s best examples of a residual system of marine protected areas was announced in November 2012 by the Australian Government.

Why would residual protected areas be a problem? Most importantly, they contribute little to the real goals of nature conservation: to avert threats and avoid loss of biodiversity. They tend toward parts of jurisdictions that were de facto protected by remoteness and unsuitability for commercial uses. Meanwhile, the processes that threaten biodiversity continue largely unabated and declines in biodiversity continue.

Second, by giving a false impression of conservation progress, residual protected areas use up societies’ tolerances of protection, progressively making future protected areas, especially those that might be effective in averting threats, more difficult to establish.

Third, residual protected areas place the onus of real conservation on off-reserve measures. These vary greatly in effectiveness and many can be diluted, ignored, or removed at political or administrative whim.

These problems mean that measuring conservation progress in terms of the extent of protected areas is usually meaningless. Another implication is that residual protected areas can produce outcomes that are worse than neutral. By failing to avert present or impending threats while pre-empting later protected areas that could be more effective, their contribution can be irretrievably negative.

With those points in mind, here is a brief review of the recently established marine protected areas in Australian Commonwealth waters, covering more than 2.3 million square kilometres. The government considers these areas have confirmed Australia as a world leader in environmental protection. But how much difference did the new marine reserves make to the future of Australia’s marine biodiversity?

  • The green (no-take) zones are concentrated in the deeper waters near the edge of Australia’s marine jurisdiction, barely touching the continental shelf where threats to biodiversity are concentrated. Their placement has been adjusted to make little difference to fishing and no difference to oil and gas development. This repeats the pattern of the 2007 marine protected areas in the south-east region where marine protected areas, and especially green zones, were largely absent from the “zone of importance” where high biodiversity conservation values overlapped with greatest threats.

  • The extensive new protected areas in IUCN category IV and, especially, VI zones allow various forms of fishing and many allow extraction of oil and gas. Australia’s 2011 State of Environment report found that fishing has caused declines in target and non-target species in several of our marine planning regions and that the cumulative impacts of oil and gas extraction are not being managed.

  • The “jewel in the crown” of the new network is the enormous mosaic of protection zones in the Coral Sea – nationally marginal for commercial fishing . The no-take zone is furthest from land, typical of the other marine planning regions. The zones that prohibit pelagic long-lining have been configured to avoid all but the most marginal areas for this fishing method. Oil and gas exploration and extraction are prohibited throughout the region, although hydrocarbon reserves appear to be absent (they are concentrated in the north-west and south-east planning regions where oil and gas developments are avoided by or permitted in protected areas established in 2007 and 2012).

The Australian Government, in minimising the impact of marine protected areas on commercial and industrial interests, has also minimised the contributions of these areas to protecting marine biodiversity. The conservation benefits are vanishingly small in proportion to size of the new areas.

This approach works politically as long as conservation groups and the general public believe that size matters. Apparently they do. The Government’s media release stated: “Of the 80,000 submissions received, the vast majority of submissions were supportive of the Government’s plan to create the world’s largest network of marine parks.” The Australian Conservation Foundation, Australian Marine Conservation Society and Greenpeace, among many others, applauded the announcement.

This praise indicates one of two things: the green groups have confused means (protected areas) and ends (making a difference) or, for reasons of their own, have decided to follow the Government’s lead. Either way, Australia’s marine biodiversity faces a problem – a mutually reinforcing combination of political expediency and commendation from influential NGOs and the public.

One of Hans Christian Andersen’s cautionary tales comes readily to mind. As in The Emperor’s New Clothes, Australia’s new marine protected areas don’t involve much substance but have attracted a good deal of public praise. An important difference, though, is that Andersen’s story ends with public outcry at being duped. There are plenty of people in Australia who understand marine conservation and think the new marine reserves are a conservation failure, but few can say so publicly. That’s another story.

Australia’s world leadership in marine conservation was rightly recognised in 1975 and 2004 with the establishment and extensive rezoning, respectively, of the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park. The 2007 and now the 2012 Commonwealth marine protected areas are a big step backward from the 2004 milestone.

Regaining world leadership in marine conservation needs two things. We must judge progress by moving from meaningless counts of square kilometres to measuring what actually counts – avoided loss or averted threats (the methods are there and ready to use). And we must have the courage to accept and apply the apparently radical idea that marine conservation is about making a difference, not about placing protected areas where they will be least inconvenient to business as usual.

Articles also by This Author

Sign in to Favourite

Join the conversation

40 Comments sorted by

  1. Max Finlayson

    Director, Institute for Land, Water and Society at Charles Sturt University

    Bob, a provocatively useful comment. I cannot comment on the details of your case, but I wholeheartedly agree we do need to consider the effectivenes of our reserves, not just extend them. An example is given by the global network of wetlands listed as internationally important under the Ramsar Convention on wetlands that now represents something like 15% of global wetland area, and yet wetlands are still in decline. Just extending the network has not been sufficient to stem the decline. There are many questions still to answer about the network; your MPA comments certainly resonate with those I'd like to see addressed.

    report
  2. Nev Norton

    Farmer

    Why don't we just take the usual bottom up approach that environmentalists favour. Problem = Fishing, solution ban fishing outright forever, It would work much like the re-adjustent scheme offered now, and the government has said it won't pay for 18 months, I mean the fishermen will be bankrupted and thrown on the scrap heap of life by then, chances are the government won't even need to pay after the 18 months anyway,because all those family and corporate business will have mostly been through liquidation by then. We could save more money because then we wouldn't need to pay for research either. I reckon Burke and the ENGO's would jump at this.

    report
  3. Ewen Peel

    Farmer

    Good article highlighting what has been happening for a long time.
    Another issue not raised here is that, with ownership comes responsibility. From what I have seen locally, governments are happy to take the land but very slow when it comes to looking after and managing these areas.
    A lot of these parks are now just over run with weeds and are fire risks.
    Not sure how it might work in the ocean and what sort of management is needed.
    If they cannot operate effectively what they currently have, then have more?

    report
  4. Colin Hunt

    Honorary Fellow in Economics at University of Queensland

    The author has said what many are unwilling to say about the benefits of the marine reserve network for fear of falling out with conservation groups – who look upon marine reserve creation as their major achievement – or of upsetting the Commonwealth government.
    A once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to enhance the marine ecosystem by significantly reducing destructive fishing has been lost. In the Coral Sea Marine Reserve, for example, there is only a marginal reduction in pelagic longline fishing, which impacts protected shortfin mako sharks and turtles as well as the overfished big eye tuna. Moreover, the majestic black marlin is not safe even in the Reserve because charter fishing is OK.

    report
    1. Trevor S

      Jack of all Trades

      In reply to Colin Hunt

      "A once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to enhance the marine ecosystem by significantly reducing destructive fishing has been lost"

      The only way to do that is to ban consumption, 'cause all you do is offshore the destruction to some other geopolitical habitat and possibly starve the indigenous population in that country because you can pay more for your fish. We already import more than 70% of the fish we consume.

      Of course banning fish consumption means those calories then need to come from somewhere else putting stress on that eco-ssyetm

      With one of the longest coast lines of any nation on the planet we can't even sustain our own desire for fish ? Something is awry.

      We have too many people, there never seems to be any talk of suitability holistically. Doesn't really matter anyway, if you climate guys are correct.

      report
  5. Jeremy Tager

    Extispicist

    Good piece.Two additions. One is to recognise that these grand announcement by Burke have disguised his complete capitulation to development approvals, particularly mining, which will undermine the integrity of the reserves (or heritage listing in the case of the Kimberley). In 2009 the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority recognised that the GBR was at a critical juncture in terms of its long terms survival. Unesco looked at the GBR last year and agreed. Burke makes his 'big' announcement…

    Read more
  6. Les McNamara

    Researcher

    As the author says, the methods for measuring what counts are already there.

    But have some of those methods let us down? For example, has the science of spatial optimisation (even if it is ignored) fooled us into believing that we can have our cake (or fish) and eat it too? Have the landscape ecologists that tell us that large patches are better and more resilient than small patches confirmed our belief that bigger must be better? And although we know that avoiding loss and averting threats can deliver more bang for the conservation buck, there remains a wildly held belief that we should protect our most pristine and intact landscapes first - the 'wilderness'. Is this belief reaffirmed by some of the metrics we use to define High Conservation Value?

    Perhaps the methods scientists use to communicate conservation priorities are too open to misuse and misinterpretation?

    report
    1. Bob Pressey

      Professor and Program Leader, Conservation Planning at James Cook University

      In reply to Les McNamara

      Thanks Les. I agree fully that optimisation of conservation areas to minimise costs can divert us into poor outcomes. The journal paper we're developing to support the opinion piece here will demonstrate this. In fact, we could say that minimising costs describes the Australian Government's approach to designing the marine reserves (although this did not involve achieving explicit conservation objectives, which is what optimising approaches try to do as well). Measuring how well we've avoided loss…

      Read more
  7. Bernie Masters

    environmental consultant at FIA Technology Pty Ltd, B K Masters and Associates

    In 2001, the then newly elected Labor government banned the logging of old growth forest in WA. Over the next 3 years, they put together a network of some 35 new national parks into which these protected areas of forest were placed to be protected for all eternity. But the new national parks were mostly composed of buffers of regrowth forest surrounding old growth cores. When the new parks were handed over to the Department of Environment and Conservation for management, the DEC's budget was not increased. The end result has been a significant decline in environmental health in south west WA forests but the environmental activists are happy because income-producing development has been stopped and they have their lines drawn on a map to show that everything's right with the world.
    I'm not a marine scientist and can't comment on the detail of this article but the parallels between Burke's marine parks creation and what happened to WA's forests in the early to mid 2000s are obvious.

    report
    1. Jeremy Tager

      Extispicist

      In reply to Bernie Masters

      One of the big differences between the marine reserves and national parks is that marine reserves are 'multiple use' zones - with activities ranging from fishing, drilling and dumping to fully protected green zones. Even in the most famous - the GBR - only about 1/3 is green. Unfortunately, the lack of funding in national parks leads not only to deterioration but also calls for privatisation of parts of parks (eco tourism) to provide needed funding. Now come the calls for hunting (fishing and shooting) - as though there aren't enough places for them to go killing already.

      report
  8. John McBain

    logged in via Facebook

    One of the critical issues Bob has highlighted here (the 'thats another story' para) is the unwillingness of some with knowledge in the field to comment, presumably because it may effect their careers. It is understandable that individuals are concerned about maintaining their employment and being considered for promotion and organisations are concerned for instance about ongoing funding. However, in a free democratic society such as ours, this is a common impediment to dissemination of knowledge…

    Read more
    1. Jose Sonnyboy Wylde

      logged in via Facebook

      In reply to John McBain

      One of the things bob has highlighted is his and many others complete ignorance and misuse of terms such as biodiveristy. Biodiversity is a catchcry - meaningless and used because it sounds good.
      Fishing can increase biodiversity.
      Lets say you have a school of tuna in an area that represents 50% of the biomass in an area. Fish that school down and you will increase biodiversity in the area as you have fished down a very specific, dominant set of genes in an area. The remaining biomass will most likely be more "biodiverse". Disturbed areas are just as likely to be more biodiverse than not. For someone working in the field (and many many others with a political agenda like Bob) this just goes to show the jingoistic and unscientific nature of their commentary on the subject. #morons

      report
  9. Peter Ormonde

    Farmer

    You mean we just collect scraps left over after the "real" business is done and slap "conservation zone" stickers on 'em? Jings what's different? It's why we have all these really picturesque mountainscapes and our suburbs become dead zones.

    But I wouldn't be getting too concerned Bob. Given what's happening with warming water and sea life of all sorts moving about the place like gypsies chances are we'll have no idea what we've actually protected for quite a while until things settle down. Will things settle down? How about acidification?

    http://www.theherald.com.au/story/1227657/video-our-changing-marine-life/?cs=310

    But having some safe havens won't hurt - no matter how unrepresentative and inadequate.

    I have no idea how one even begins to "plan" for the changes we are about to see.

    report
    1. Roger Crook

      Retired agribusiness manager & farmer

      In reply to Peter Ormonde

      I think it means our imports of fish will grow from where they are at present at ~70%.
      Others will 'strip fish' to meet our demands for a healthy diet.
      NZ is a big supplier of fish to Australia. NZ!
      Some will 'farm' the Mekong to meet our needs - have you been there? Don't swim.
      China will increase it's exports to us.
      They will also continue to send fish to Canada to be packed 'Product of Canada from local and imported ingredients'.
      In Albany last week KG Whiting, caught in local waters, $45kg, they tell me add another $10 for Perth prices.
      We are such a big island, yet we will soon totally rely on others to provide us with the food we are told is good for us.
      I don't understand except that the good ship 'Environment' has a Green tiller.

      report
  10. Gary Goland
    Gary Goland is a Friend of The Conversation.

    Researcher

    Thank you for a very deserving topic of conversation Bob. Very appropriate it is available to everyone. The stand out part of the failing connection I see is a lack of data, and poor integration of objectives that are part of our diverse society. Given the reference to Marine environments in the article, I refer readers to Redmap. It is a site to source and contribute marine data. Initiated in Tasmania, but now national, it is a program where fishers and divers can report sightings of species…

    Read more
  11. George Macdonald

    Project Director - Cape York Dreaming Tracck

    I am in absolute agreement with the point of view expressed about the public estate - whether it be maritime or on land. However, I think it misses a fundamental point, which is access to sufficient capital to manage and protect what exists and what may become available in the future. Public funds are simply insufficient. They were probably always insufficient and they will become more so as more land comes into the public estate. For instance, my understanding of the works budget for Queensland…

    Read more
  12. Colin Buxton

    Adjunct Professor, Fisheries Aquaculture and Coasts Centre IMAS at University of Tasmania

    Bob, this is a really useful contribution to the debate. Your comments, that “…[NRSMPA] contribute little to the real goals of nature conservation: to avert threats and avoid loss of biodiversity” and “…[NRSPMA] giving a false impression of conservation progress”, really resonate with much of what some of us have been saying for some time (eg see Kearney et al. Marine Policy 36 (2012) 1064–1071).
    Where we differ quite strongly therefore is in your emphasis on fishing as a major or even significant…

    Read more
    1. Colin Hunt

      Honorary Fellow in Economics at University of Queensland

      In reply to Colin Buxton

      While Australia fish might not have been fished to extinction the the marine ecosystem has been changed radically because of the drastic reduction in tageted species. This is the point.
      While southern bluefin tuna, toothfish, gemfish, orange roughy, school shark, sclloped hammerhead, shortfin makos, snappers, lobsters, etc, etc may not be extinct, their biomass has been reduced to a fraction of what it was originally. This has affected other species. Some have benefited and filled the niche formerly occupied by these species, while other species have declined because they are predators on these species. It would be a revelation if correspondents, such as yourself, were open about the support they get from the fishing industry and/or government and quasi government bodies involved in research and fisheries management, just as the writers of Conversation articles are required to do.

      report
    2. Scott Coghlan

      Journalist

      In reply to Colin Hunt

      A good call Colin. I expect James Cook Uni will detail its links to the Pew Group as well then?
      Especially given that a Pew rep and the writer of the article conduct a conversation in this very comment section.

      report
    3. Bob Pressey

      Professor and Program Leader, Conservation Planning at James Cook University

      In reply to Scott Coghlan

      Thanks Scott. I think that the ability of Pew Trusts and James Cook University to think independently on issues around marine reserves should be clear from Imogen's comments and my replies. As for links, you'll find that my research program had a small contract from Pew to estimate management costs of potential Coral Sea marine parks. You can find the study published in Conservation Letters 4, 241-252 (2011), or I'd be happy to email you a copy.

      report
    4. Scott Coghlan

      Journalist

      In reply to Bob Pressey

      Cheers Bob. I have emailed Imogen requesting a copy of her comments. Will do the same for your copy. Will be interesting to compare notes. I

      report
  13. Colin Buxton

    Adjunct Professor, Fisheries Aquaculture and Coasts Centre IMAS at University of Tasmania

    In response to Colin Hunt

    I am not denying that there are or have been cases of overfishing or that this may or may not have an impact on the ecosystem (by the way we were unable to detect any measurable changes to the benthic fauna on inshore reefs in South Africa after a significant removal of supra-benthic predatory fishes).
    My point and I think Bob’s as well, is that MPA is not doing much to address this problem, whereas appropriate fisheries management can and is. MPAs are not only a blunt fisheries management tool they are mostly ineffective at managing most of the major threats in the marine environment. More must be done at the source of the threat.
    More than happy to say that we receive our funding from a diverse range of competitive grant agencies, including ARC and FRDC. We are also supported by the Tasmanian Government and of course through Commonwealth funding of the University. I do not receive any funding directly from industry.

    report
    1. Colin Hunt

      Honorary Fellow in Economics at University of Queensland

      In reply to Colin Buxton

      Colin,
      I am aware of the strong argment that fisheries management should be doing the job of tackling overfishing rather than using MPAs to do that.
      However, there are fisheries in Australia that are very damaging to the marine ecosystem. The target species in these fisheries are not overfished or subject to overfishing, so they continue unabated. Until fisheries managers pay more than lip service to a holistic ecosystem approach to fisheries management this situation will continue. Meanwhile, we should reasonably expect of MPAs - indeed if they are to be worth the name - that they will effect the removal of such damaging fisheries.

      report
    1. Bob Pressey

      Professor and Program Leader, Conservation Planning at James Cook University

      In reply to Imogen Zethoven

      I've written a detailed series of replies to Imogen's comments. If you'd like a copy of this document, please contact me at bob.pressey@jcu.edu.au.

      I will preface my specific replies with a general comment here about current thinking in program evaluation, which is lagged significantly by assessment of protected areas, marine or terrestrial. Broadly, we can think about four types of information related to protected areas:
      1. Inputs (money, people, time)
      2. Outputs (protected areas, usually measured…

      Read more
  14. Karen Edyvane

    Adjunct Professor (Marine Conservation & Management), Charles Darwin University

    A very timely and provocative article by a global authority on systematic conservation planning. But disturbing, in that the Commonwealth has clearly not learnt the lessons from it's first foray into large-scale, Marine Protected Area (MPA) planning in South-east Australia in 2006 (an area of more than two million square kilometres of Australia’ ocean territory around Victoria, Tasmania, eastern South Australia and southern New South Wales, as well as the sub-Antarctic Macquarie Island). Like the…

    Read more
    1. Karen Edyvane

      Adjunct Professor (Marine Conservation & Management), Charles Darwin University

      In reply to Karen Edyvane

      Apologies for the typos in this contribution (should have been proof read) !

      Should also have added, "Ironically, these Australian, globally-recognised, independent experts (like Bob Pressey) are being sought after, and are advising governments around the world on how to establish MPA systems - everywhere, but not here, in Australia, it seems."

      report
  15. Colin Creighton

    Chair, Climate adaptation, Marine Biodiversity and Fisheries

    Bob and all - yep the obvious has been stated. Terrestrial conservation areas are the residuals of land use. Marine conservation areas are less so - for example the GBRMarine Park expressly prohibited oil and natural gas.

    The key though is management of threats - and the article missed this issue for marine areas. I wonder how many know that in over 1500 creeks, public estuary lands and wetlands have been damed off - just in the Burdekin floodplain alone - thats a lot of prawns, barra, mangrove…

    Read more
    1. Jeremy Tager

      Extispicist

      In reply to Colin Creighton

      Colin, it has reached the point where 'management of threats' isn't good enough - certain activities are simply unacceptable and management only slows the rate of destruction. The expansion of the coal industry is going to make a bad situation even worse. It will see the sacrifice of relatively undisturbed estuarine systems - such as the Fitzroy Delta; it will see the loss of wetlands, such as the Caley Valley Wetland, which will become part of a coal rail loop. And finally we will see the dredging and dumping of millions of cubic metres of dredge spoil - almost inevitably into the marine park because proponents don't want to go to the trouble of disposing properly on land.

      report
  16. John Harland

    bicycle technician

    Change involves politics. That implies a lot of people understanding the issues clearly-enough to be able to agree on what to demand of government.

    Quantity is easy. Quality, by contrast, needs a lot of explanation and that most-difficult of all educational challenges: to present it simply without making it meaninglessly simplistic.

    report
  17. Ishbel Campbell

    logged in via LinkedIn

    Sadly as I have seen around Asia, increasing the number of MPAs within a region seems to be a tourism advert with little to no consent for scientific and political backing. One thing that springs to mind whilst working here is the absolute need for rigorous law enforcement of these areas, in which governments - more often than not - will not invest. Would policing an area be such a financial drain, given the multi-billion dollar industry which requires a healthy fish population/intact ecosystem?

    report
  18. Mark Tupper

    logged in via LinkedIn

    Great comment Bob. I remember a similar conversation about 10 or 12 years ago that spread over Coral-List and FishFolk. The gist of the discussion was that MPAs (or marine reserves as they were called at the time) always seemed to have more fish, healthier reefs, etc. because we deliberately set aside the best places (usually the most remote as you say) as protected areas and ignored the rest. When I worked in Palau, the conservation catchphrase was "Conserve the Best and Improve the Rest", but much more emphasis was placed on the first half of that phrase.

    report
  19. Ben Diggles

    Aquatic animal health specialist at DigsFish Services

    My area of expertise is assessment of the health of aquatic animals, and I can tell you this - MPAs do a very poor job of protecting ecosystem health (and therefore biodiversity), as evidenced by the fish kills and destruction of coral and oyster reefs in the Moreton Bay Marine park where I live. Biodiversity is a buzz word popular with NGOs, government, and many academics, but in the marine science field I find little evidence that most of these people actually know what it means, let alone how…

    Read more
    1. Colin Hunt

      Honorary Fellow in Economics at University of Queensland

      In reply to Ben Diggles

      Ben, I have to take you up on the black marlin issue. The percentage of these top predators that survive after having been played and released is unknown but is likely to be al lot less than the 98% released. I recently witnessed a 400kg magnificent black marlin being winched off a recreational fishing vessel in Port Douglas. The trumphant fisher said the marlin had died after being played with heavy tackle for hours. And this is sport! I try to draw attention to the massive catch of top predators…

      Read more
    2. Ben Diggles

      Aquatic animal health specialist at DigsFish Services

      In reply to Colin Hunt

      Colin,

      You don’t seem to know about marlin survival rates, but that doesn’t mean that science does not. Pop up satellite tagging data shows quite high survival for marlin tagged on sportfishing gear, especially when best practice techniques are used. Most studies show 0-17% mortalities, worst case: Domier et al. (2003) Mar. FW Res 54: 435-445 found around 25% mortality of striped marlin caught on live bait, while best case, Graves et al. (2002) Fishery Bulletin 100: 134-142 used lures to get…

      Read more
    3. Colin Hunt

      Honorary Fellow in Economics at University of Queensland

      In reply to Ben Diggles

      Ben, some of your concerns are adressed in my article
      Benefits and opportunity costs of Australia's Coral Sea marine protected area: A precautionary tale,
      which has just been published in Marine Policy

      Abstract
      The paper analyses the benefits and costs of the Coral Sea Marine Reserve which, together with the contiguous Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area, creates the largest marine protected area in the world. The benefits are found to be minimal, in both anthropocentric and ecocentric…

      Read more
  20. Graeme Kelleher

    logged in via Facebook

    I agree that MPAs that are established only in areas that are not representative of important habitats and do not contribute to the preservation of biological diversity and/or productivity are not useful. However, it is sensible to choose sites that do contribute in major degrees to these criteria and that minimise economic damage, rather than always choosing sites by criteria that ignore economic value. This approach gives win-win rather than win-lose.

    It's also relevant that no-take MPAs or zones often increase rather than threaten the productivity of fisheries.

    report
    1. Bob Pressey

      Professor and Program Leader, Conservation Planning at James Cook University

      In reply to Graeme Kelleher

      Thanks Graeme. I agree fully. Your argument is an important reason why the Great Barrier Reef rezoning in 2004 stands as an example to the world, unlike Australia's marine reserves announced in 2012.

      report