Title

Critical research needs for managing coral reef marine protected areas: perspectives of academics and managers

Authors

C Cvitanovic, James Cook University
S K. Wilson, Department of Environment and Conservation, Kensington, WA
C J. Fulton, Australian National University
G R. Almany, James Cook University
P Anderson, Department of Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities, Canberra, ACT
R C. Babcock, Marine and Atmospheric Research, Cleveland, QLD
N C. Ban, James Cook University
R J. Beeden, James Cook University
M Beger, The University of Queensland
J Cinner, James Cook University
K Dobbs, Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority
L S. Evans, James Cook University
A Farnham, Department of Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities, Canberra, ACT
K J. Friedman, Marine Science Program, Department of Environment and Conservation, Kensington, WA
K Gale, Department of Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities, Canberra
W Gladstone, The University of Queensland
Q Grafton, Australian National University
N AJ Graham, James Cook University
S Gudge, NSW Department of Primary Industries
Peter Lynton Harrison, Southern Cross UniversityFollow
T H. Holmes, Department of Environment and Conservation, Kensington, WA
N Johnstone, NSW Department of Primary Industries
G P. Jones, James Cook University
A Jordon, NSW Department of Primary Industries
A J. Kendrick, Department of Environment and Conservation, Kensington, WA
C J. Klein, The University of Queensland
L R. Little, Marine and Atmospheric Research, Hobart Tasmania
H A. Malcolm, NSW Department of Primary Industries
D Morris, Department of Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities, Canberra, ACT
H P. Possingham, The University of Queensland
J Prescott, Australian Fisheries Management Authority, Darwin. NT
R L. Pressey, James Cook University
G A. Skilleter, University of Queensland
C Simpson, Department of Environment and Conservation, Kensington, WA
K Waples, Department of Environment and Conservation, Kensington, WA
D Wilson, Indian Ocean Tuna Commission, Victoria, Seychelles
D H. Williamson, James Cook University

Document Type

Article

Publication details

Cvitanovic, C, Wilson, SK, Fulton, CJ Almany, GR, Anderson, P, Babcock, RC, Ban, NC, Beeden, RJ, Beger, M, Cinner, J, Dobbs, K, Evans, LS, Farnham, A, Friedman, KJ, Gale, K, Gladstone, W, Grafton, Q, Graham, NAJ, Gudge, S, Harrison, PL, Holmes, TH, Johnstone, N, Jones, GP, Jordon, A, Kendrick, AJ, Klein, CJ, Little, LR, Malcolm, HA, Morris, D, Possinham, HP, Prescott, J, Pressey, RL, Skilleter, GA, Simpson, C, Waples, K, Wilson, D, Williamson, DH 2013, 'Critical research needs for managing coral reef marine protected areas: perspectives of academics and managers', Journal of Environmental Management, vol. 114, pp. 84-91.

Published version available from:

http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jenvman.2012.10.051

Peer Reviewed

Peer-Reviewed

Abstract

Marine protected areas (MPAs) are a primary policy instrument for managing and protecting coral reefs. Successful MPAs ultimately depend on knowledge-based decision making, where scientific research is integrated into management actions. Fourteen coral reef MPA managers and sixteen academics from eleven research, state and federal government institutions each outlined at least five pertinent research needs for improving the management of MPAs situated in Australian coral reefs. From this list of 173 key questions, we asked members of each group to rank questions in order of urgency, redundancy and importance, which allowed us to explore the extent of perceptional mismatch and overlap among the two groups. Our results suggest the mismatch among MPA managers and academics is small, with no significant difference among the groups in terms of their respective research interests, or the type of questions they pose. However, managers prioritised spatial management and monitoring as research themes, whilst academics identified climate change, resilience, spatial management, fishing and connectivity as the most important topics. Ranking of the posed questions by the two groups was also similar, although managers were less confident about the achievability of the posed research questions and whether questions represented a knowledge gap. We conclude that improved collaboration and knowledge transfer among management and academic groups can be used to achieve similar objectives and enhance the knowledge-based management of MPAs.