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dc.contributor.advisorRock, Jennifer
dc.contributor.authorBennett, Adele Rhian
dc.identifier.citationBennett, A. R. (2013). Communities and Marine Protected Areas (Thesis, Master of Science Communication). University of Otago. Retrieved from
dc.description.abstractThe ocean has sustained human life for thousands of years. People have used the ocean for transportation, recreational activities, mining of minerals and most importantly, as a food resource, allowing human populations to grow. However, as overfishing, pollution, climate change and general misuse of the oceans was brought to the forefront of conservation agendas, policy and management plans were developed to protect these valuable ecosystems. Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) are used worldwide and are considered the best management strategy for protecting marine environments. Australia is one of the major leaders in global marine conservation, with over 200 MPAs in Australian waters, and a national commitment to developing a network of MPAs to combat the threats to marine life and processes. Imposing regulations on what once were open resources has proven to cause contention between MPA managers and stakeholders in adjacent communities. This is concerning, as stakeholder compliance has been identified as one main factor in a MPA achieving conservation objectives. Many believe that if the public was directly involved in the MPA planning and management process, as well as being informed about the reasons for enforcing regulations, contention would be minimised. Due to Australia being a world leader in marine conservation, this thesis will be focussed on the strategies for community involvement and participation in Australian MPA policy. The creative component of this thesis is a film entitled Bluewater. Fellow science communication student, Ben Lamar, and I made this film from November 2011 to October 2012. Bluewater tells the story of a competitor in the Bluewater Classic, a spearfishing event that occurs in Australia’s Solitary Islands Marine Park (SIMP). Throughout the story, environmental issues associated with MPAs and the effect of regulation changes, such as fishing limits on stakeholders in the community, are examined. In this 11 month period, I became increasingly aware of the impacts that MPAs can have on communities in terms of livelihoods and recreational use. I experienced first hand the importance of bringing stakeholders and community members into the consultation and management process, through engagement and participation, as users of the SIMP voiced their opinions and doubts about regulation changes. While focussing on Australian MPA policy, this thesis brings examples of science communication strategies for engagement and participation from around the world together. Thus, ways to integrate community and stakeholders into management processes in a way that results in a balance between the requirements of marine life and ecosystem, and the impact of regulations on people will be identified. By detailing lessons learnt first hand from community engagement experience whilst making the film, I will make personal recommendations to increase the success of projects attempting to engage, educate and involve the relevant community.
dc.publisherUniversity of Otago
dc.rightsAll items in OUR Archive are provided for private study and research purposes and are protected by copyright with all rights reserved unless otherwise indicated.
dc.titleCommunities and Marine Protected Areas
dc.language.rfc3066en Communication of Science Communication of Otago
otago.openaccessAbstract Only
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