Protecting marine ecosystems: essential reading.

These are 'must read' references with information vital to understanding both marine ecosystems and human impacts on these ecosystems.  See also the core 'classic essays' which illuminate key natural resource management processes and the cultures which underpin them. References below are arranged in chronological order.

Key references: marine protected areas

AAAS American Association for the Advancement of Science (2001) Scientific consensus statement on marine reserves and marine protected areas.  From accessed 20 August 2004.

At the Johannesburg World Summit on Sustainable Development in 2002, countries agreed to ambitious targets for creating national networks of marine protected areas by 2012 and rebuilding overexploited fisheries by 2015. 
Reference: United Nations (2002)
World Summit on Sustainable Development: Plan of Implementation:

James Bohnsack (2003) Shifting baselines, marine reserves, and Leopold's biotic ethic; Gulf and Caribbean Research vol.14 no.2 pp.1-7.


Key references: ecosystem-based fisheries management

Dayton, DK (1998) Reversal of the burden of proof in fisheries management. Science Feb 6, 279(5352):821-822. Html.

Jackson, J et al. (2001) Historical overfishing and the recent collapse of coastal ecosystems.  Science 293:629-638. 27 July 2001.  
Available from .  This paper is essential reading, and is readily accessible using a search engine like Google. Abstract

Gell, FR and Roberts CM (2003) Benefits beyond boundaries: the fishery effects of marine reserves.  Trends in Ecology and Evolution 18(9)448-455. September. Abstract.

Hughes, TP, Baird, AH, Bellwood, DR, Card, M, Connolly, SR, Folke, C, Grosberg, R, Hoegh-Guldberg, O, Jackson, JBC, Kleypas, J, Lough, JM, Marshall, P, Nystrom, M, Palumbi, SR, Pandolfi, JM, Rosen, B & Roughgarden, J (2003), 'Climate change, human impacts, and the resilence of coral reefs.' Science, vol. 301, pp. 929-933.  Page 929: "Projected increases in carbon dioxide and temperate over the next 50 years exceed the conditions under which coral reefs have flourished over the past half-million years".  Available from

Pandolfi, JM, Bradbury, RH, Sala, E, Hughes, TP, Bjorndal, KA, Cooke, RG, McArdle, D, McClenachan, L, Newman, M, Paredes, G, Warner, RR & Jackson, JBC  (2003) 'Global trajectories of the long-term decline of coral reef ecosystems.' Science, vol. 301, pp. 955-8.  Abstract.

Bellwood, DR et al. (2004) Confronting the coral reef crisis. Nature 429:827-833. 24 June 2004.  
Available from the James Cook University website, or from Nature at and recommendations.


Websites containing bibliographies

See the Fisheries Watch and Seaweb sites on the list of international links , and the WWF reference list.  Link to pdf file: AAAS Fisheries Bibliography 2000