Abstract: Marine protected areas can be effective tools for marine conservation and fisheries management; however, when poorly planned and managed, these become ‘paper parks’. Paper parks are those in which ‘protection’ is ineffective to halt environmental degradation and which therefore do not achieve their conservation objectives. Effective protected areas require the development and implementation of conservation strategies that halt environmental degradation and respond to socio-economic contexts. The success, or failure, of protected areas depends on two key aspects of planning and management: design and user compliance. Appropriate design and good compliance are fundamental for effective protected areas. Practical tools are needed for attaining a balance between protected area design and user compliance. Through this multidisciplinary project I aim to provide knowledge and methods to ensure ecological connectivity (a key design principle) and increase user compliance in marine protected areas. To address ecological connectivity in marine protected area design I will focus on the adult home range of economically important fish species. I will also analyse fishers’ compliance within marine protected areas to inform better planning and management solutions.
Biography: Adrian grew up in and around saltwater in Costa Rica. He gained his undergraduate degree in Biology with emphasis on sustainable development; later completed a master’s degree in Natural Resource Management at JCU. After some years in Costa Rica he worked with a wide range of marine issues such as fisheries, tourism, coastal reforestation, science communication and marine spatial planning. Back again in JCU Adrian is a member of Program 6, supervised by Prof. Bob Pressey. His project examines marine conservation and focuses on marine protected area planning and management—specifically fisher’s compliance and ecological connectivity through fish home range.