MPAs a key part of draft regional marine plan for SE Australia

Marine protected areas will play a key role in the coming regional marine plan for southeastern Australia, currently available in draft form and open for public comment until October 17, 2003. The plan, whose final version is scheduled for release this December, provides a broad framework for managing all ocean uses in a marine area of more than 2 million km2. It is the first step in a national effort to develop integrated management plans for each of Australia’s marine regions.

The draft plan features several objectives in support of ongoing efforts to develop a representative MPA system in SE Australia and around the nation (MPA News 3:4). Although the draft stops short of naming specific MPA site options, the final version will likely include some, according to Peter Taylor, director of marine protected areas for Parks Australia, within the federal Department of Environment and Heritage (DOEH). “DOEH has a strong and clear expectation of rolling out a representative system of MPAs as each regional marine plan is undertaken,” he says.

DOEH will host a series of stakeholder workshops over the coming months to facilitate a design process for potential MPAs in SE Australia, including consideration of socioeconomic interests. “Of special interest is the fact that the fishing industry is recognizing it has significant additional information about habitats, water column, species, etc., that could add value to the design process,” says Taylor. Notably, over the past six months, DOEH has provided funds to the fishing industry in SE Australia to facilitate its input to MPA design processes. The funds are part of an 18-month project aimed at helping the Australian Seafood Industry Council (ASIC), the peak commercial fishing organization in Australia, to build coalitions with the diverse and fragmented fishing associations of the southeast region and establish these associations’ buy-in to the design effort.

“DOEH has been very explicit in recognizing the importance we place on building the trust and confidence of industry,” says Taylor. “We are also quite clear that we are talking about MPAs that have no-take components and multiple-use when necessary. To date, this project has exceeded expectations in the interest and commitment shown by the fishing industry.”

The SE Australian marine region includes the waters off Victoria, Tasmania, eastern South Australia and southern New South Wales, as well as the sub-Antarctic Macquarie Island. The draft regional marine plan is available online in PDF format at

For more information:

Peter Taylor, Parks Australia, Department of Environment and Heritage, GPO Box 787, Canberra 2601, Australia. Tel: +61 2 6274 1759; E-mail:

Report available on training managers for modern fisheries challenges

Today’s fisheries managers often must account for a complex array of factors in their decisionmaking, including stakeholder involvement, ecosystem management, sustainable fisheries, international policy, litigation, and scientific uncertainty, among other considerations. A new report lays out a vision for future fisheries management and how the skills and knowledge of managers worldwide may be developed to implement it. Training Managers for 21st Century Fisheries, the report of a similarly named international workshop held in Queenstown, New Zealand in December 2001, provides a blueprint for building the capacity of problem solvers, innovators, and leaders in the management field.

The workshop was sponsored by the New Zealand Seafood Industry Council, the (US) National Marine Fisheries Service, and the Coastal Oregon Marine Experiment Station of Oregon State University (US). The report is available in PDF format on the website of the “Training Managers for 21st Century Fisheries” initiative, an ongoing project, at You may also join the project listserv.

For more information:

Laurie Jodice, Parks, Recreation & Tourism Management, Clemson University, 263 Lehotsky Hall, Box 340735, Clemson, SC 29634-0735, USA. Tel: +1 864 656 2209; E-mail:

World Parks Congress to convene this month

MPA News will attend the World Parks Congress this month, held September 8-17 in Durban, South Africa. Convened by IUCN every ten years, this meeting is the major global forum for setting an agenda for protected areas. Previous congresses have assisted national governments in creating new protected areas and directing more resources toward biodiversity conservation. MPA News will report in our October issue on the results of the meeting and its implications for MPAs.