Abstract: The effectiveness of governance depends on its fit with the social and ecological processes to be governed. As many small-scale fisheries management operate at relatively restricted spatial scales, it is prudent to govern their use at similar scales. This recognition has led to a proliferation of community-based fisheries management – involving over 500 communities across 17 countries in the South Pacific alone. However, there is legitimate concern that these spatially limited scales of governance cannot be reconciled with the scale of key ecological processes. This is of particular concern for large coral reef fishes which migrate to aggregations to spawn. For many such species though, the spatial scales of key ecological processes throughout their life-cycles remain unknown, particularly in the context of the fisheries that exploit them, and their relevant governance institutions. Throughout this research I investigated the scales of governance and operation of a small-scale artisanal fishery in Papua New Guinea. Further, I investigated the scales of key ecological processes throughout the life-histories of two species of grouper, Epinephelus fuscoguttatus and E. polyphekadion – using a combination of acoustic telemetry, age-based demographics, reproductive biology and habitat suitability mapping. In addition to providing vital life-history information for these important, and vulnerable fisheries-targeted species, this research provides recommendations for the effective governance of coral reef fishes at scales congruous with community-based management.
Biography: Peter became interested in coral reef ecology when he realised it held the opportunity for perpetual tropical holidaying. He is a keen diver, spearo and fisherman. He completed a Bachelor of Marine Studies at The University of Queensland in 2009, including an honours project investigating the impact of cleaner wrasse on client fish assemblages at Lizard Island. Since then he has endeavoured to spend as much time as possible in the water. In 2012, Peter commenced his PhD candidature under the supervision of Glenn Almany, Josh Cinner, Richard Hamilton and John Pandolfi. His work is focused on commercially important grouper spawning aggregations in Papua New Guinea. He is passionate about conserving both cultures and ecosystems – integrating contemporary management programs into existing customary governance systems.