GEOGG061 Marine Conservation

Academic Year

Dr Peter JS Jones

Programme Term Running

Available to Affiliate Students

Available to External Students

Brief Course Description
See Peter Jones' marine conservation blogs ( and his website (

Course Aims
This module is focused on the challenges of conserving marine biodiversity and ecosystems and the approaches that are being developed to address these challenges.

Course Content
- Differences between terrestrial and marine ecosystems and their implications
- The role of marine protected areas and the challenges of governing them
- The impacts of fishing and the options for addressing them
- The role of the ecosystem approach and marine spatial planning

This course is taught through a programme of lectures.
- Introduction to module and marine ecosystems
- Introduction to marine protected areas
- Fishing impacts
- Fisheries management
- Reconciling fisheries and biodiversity conservation
- MPA governance
- MPA governance – various case studies around the world
- MPA governance – further case studies, including Chagos
- MPAs in England case study
- Ecosystem-Based Marine Spatial Planning, UK Marine Act, module round-up

Form of Assessment
2500 word (max) report:

Governance analysis of a marine protected area case study of your choice, applying the MPA Governance Analysis Framework

See Jones (2014 for a full description of this empirical framework and discussion of its theoretical foundations. See for further information on this approach and its application to case studies

Preliminary Reading (* directly drawn on in lectures)

*Appleby T. and Jones P.J.S. (2012) The marine and coastal access act - A hornets’ nest? Marine Policy 36(1), 73-77. doi:10.1016/ j.marpol.2011.03.009

Day et al. (2015) ‘Chapter 21 - Marine Protected Area Management’ in Protected Area Governance and Management. Legacy to the World Parks Congress, entire book and MPA chapter: free download

De Santo E.M. (2012) Missing marine protected area (MPA) targets: How the push for quantity over quality undermines sustainability and social justice. Journal of Environmental Management 124?doi:137-146.10.1016/j.jenvman.2013.01.033

*De Santo E.M., Jones P.J.S. and Miller A.M.M. (2011) Fortress conservation at sea: a commentary on the Chagos MPA. Marine Policy 35(2), 258-260

Devillers R. et al. (2015) Reinventing residual reserves in the sea: are we favouring ease of

establishment over need for protection? Aquatic Conserv: Mar. Freshw. Ecosyst. Early View doi:10.1002/aqc.2445

Edgar G.J. et al. (2014) Global conservation outcomes depend on marine protected areas with five key features. Nature 506, 216–220. doi:10.1038/nature13022. Peter’s blog on this paper.

*Jennings S et al (2001) Marine fisheries ecology. Good introductory textbook

*Jones P.J.S (2001) Marine protected area strategies: issues, divergences and the search for middle ground. Reviews in Fish Biology and Fisheries 11(3), 197-216. doi:10.1023/A:1020327007975

Jones P.J.S. and Burgess J. (2005) Building partnership capacity for the collaborative management of marine protected areas in the UK: a preliminary analysis. Journal of Environmental Management 77(3), 227-243. doi:10.1016/j.jenvman.2005.04.004.

Jones P.J.S. (2006) Collective action problems posed by no take zones. Marine Policy 30(2), 143-156. doi:10.1016/j.marpol.2004.10.003

*Jones P.J.S. (2007) Point of view - Arguments for conventional fisheries management and against no-take marine protected areas: only half of the story? Reviews in Fish Biology and Fisheries 17(1), 31-43. doi:10.1007/s11160-006-9016-8

Jones P.J.S. (2008) Fishing industry and related perspectives on the issues raised by no-take marine protected area proposals. Marine Policy 32(4), 749-758. doi:10.1016/j.marpol.2007.12.009

Jones P.J.S. (2009) Equity, justice and power issues raised by no-take marine protected area proposals. Marine Policy 33(5), 759-765. doi:10.1016/j.marpol.2009.02.009

*Jones P.J.S. (2012) Marine Protected Areas in the UK: challenges in combining top-down and bottom-up approaches to governance. Environmental Conservation 39(3), 248-258. doi:10.1017/S0376892912000136.

*Jones P.J.S. (2014) Governing marine protected areas: resilience through diversity. Earthscan/Routledge. Essential core text. (based on report available at, along with related items on this book. Five copies in library and e-book also available)

*Jones P.J.S., Qiu W. and De Santo E.M (2013) Governing Marine Protected Areas: social-ecological resilience through institutional diversity. Marine Policy, doi:10.1016/j.marpol.2012.12.026

Kaiser et al (2005) Marine ecology : processes, systems, and impacts. Good introductory text book

Katsanevakis S. et al. (2011) Ecosystem-based marine spatial management: review of concepts, policies, tools, and critical issues. Ocean and Coastal Management 54(1), 807-820. doi:10.1016/ocecoaman.2011.09.002

Lester S.E. et al. (2009) Biological effects within no-take marine reserves: a global synthesis. Marine Ecology Progress Series 384, 33-46. doi:10.3354/meps08029

*PISCO - Science of Marine Reserves booklets - European, international and US versions available here; excellent source of other natural science focused MPA references, European version being the most up-to-date. Paper related to European version doi:10.1016/j.marpol.2012.02.021

Roberts C.M. (2007) The Unnatural History of the Sea: the past and future of humanity and fishing. Tracks the long history of overfishing and discusses the options for restoring marine ecosystems, with a particular focus on marine reserves. Strongly recommended. Google books

Roberts, C.M. (2012) The Ocean of Life: the fate of man and the sea. A lighter read than his 2007 title; a compelling introduction to threats to marine ecosystems and options for addressing them, particularly marine reserves

Toropova, C., Meliane, I., Laffoley, D., Matthews, E. and Spalding, M. (eds.) (2010) Global Ocean Protection: Present Status and Future Possibilities. Good recent review of MPAs and related issues.

Worm B et al. (2006) Impacts of biodiversity loss on ocean ecosystem services. Science 314, 787-790. Note that several critiques of this pivotal study have been published: Branch (2008) Marine Policy 32(1), 38-39, and Various (2007) Science 316, 1281- 1285. See also:-

Worm et al. (2009) Rebuilding global fisheries. Science 325, 578-585. A much more optimistic analysis than Worm et al (2006).

Learning outcomes
- Appreciate the differences between terrestrial and marine ecosystems and their implications for conservation
- Understand the role of marine protected areas and the governance challenges of effectively implementing them in different international contexts;
- Understand the links between fisheries management and marine conservation and the challenges of integrating these policies;
- Have a knowledge of the emerging approaches for implementing the ecosystem approach and for marine spatial planning, with particular reference to emerging UK policies

Last Updated: Tue 30 May 2017