Michael Kelly

Document Type

Internship Report

Publication Date

Fall 2012


The establishment of marine protected areas (MPAs) for the purpose of conserving marine biodiversity is expected to increase due to international mandates like the Jakarta Mandate. For MPAs to be an effective instrument for conserving biodiversity they must be designed and implemented in a way that will ensure the protection of critical biological and ecological conditions. The success of MPAs is also dependent upon compliance and support from stakeholders affected by the MPA. Establishing an effective management plan for a MPA therefore requires not only an understanding of the ecological and biological factors at play, but the stakeholders and important socioeconomic factors involved. Recreational and charter fishermen represent important stakeholders whose involvement in MPAs by aiding in monitoring, enforcement, and compliance can benefit the long term success of a MPA. The Billfish Foundation (TBF) works for the conservation of billfish and related species through science, research, advocacy, and by representing the interests of recreational anglers to ensure the health of oceans and improving associated economies. With the projected increased coverage of MPAs recreational fishermen are faced with being shut out of fishing grounds. TBF strives to ensure that anglers’ interests are represented and that the best management of marine resources is achieved. This report intends to give an overview of the background and processes associated with the Commonwealth of Australia’s proposed Coral Sea Commonwealth Marine Reserve as well as the importance and influence of recreational anglers. I hope to demonstrate the importance of ensuring that recreational and charter fishing interests are adequately represented in the decision making processes surrounding the management of marine resources. In addition, I aim to highlight the numerous potential benefits that can be accrued by the marine reserves in the form of scientific, monitoring and enforcement, and socioeconomic benefits by allowing recreational and charter fishing to be conducted within marine reserves. Ultimately, I intend to show that it is in Australia’s best interest to allow recreational and charter fishing within the Coral Sea Commonwealth Marine Reserve and provided the benefits this activity provides it is illogical to prohibit this form of fishing given the lack of a sound scientific justification.


Department: MAF

MPS Track: MCO

Location: The Billfish Foundation (TBF), (Fort Lauderdale,FL)

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