Past Research Projects

Governing Marine Protected Areas (MPAs)

Dr Peter JS Jones

Dept of Geography, UCL (University College London)

This is an outline of previous research projects involving Dr Peter Jones. Information on his current research projects can be found here

See complete list of publications

Issues raised by the UK Marine Act: The emerging marine governance framework for the UK poses many challenges as well as presenting important opportunities. I am tracking progress and analysing the issues raised. See initial paper on this research:

Jones P.J.S. (2006) The Marine Bill: cornucopia or Pandora’s Box? ECOS: A Review of Conservation 27(2), 1-6 (Editorial in a special issue on the Marine Bill of the journal of the British Association of Nature Conservationists). Published version of paper (edited) - Full version of paper.

I provided a written Memorandum of Evidence on the role of the precautionary principle in justifying highly protected marine reserves (DMB3, Ev 145-147, Volume II of JCDMB Report) to the Joint Committee on the Draft Marine Bill. This evidence was cited in supporting the Joint Committee's Recommendation that the precautionary principle should be employed to select Marine Conservation Zones where there is limited knowledge (para. 126, page 55, Volume I of JCDMB Report).

I was part of a consortium led by ABPmer that will be advising the government on how socio-economic considerations can be taken into account when designing the network of marine conservation zones that the Marine Bill will provide: Socio-economic data – determining how and what to take into account in the planning of marine protected area networks - MB0104. It is planned that MCZs and European Marine Sites will together form an 'ecologically coherent network' of MPAs but I have questioned whether this is a realistic aim in the recent paper crossing the divide.

I also undertook research on fishing industry views on the implications of the Marine Bill, particularly the issues raised by marine conservation zone proposals (see below) and wrote a briefing for Wildlife & Countryside LINK's Marine Bill campaign on why the weaknesses of the statutory marine nature reserve provisions must not be repeated in the Marine Bill. Most of my research projects listed on this page and my publications are relevant to the development and implementation of the Marine Bill.

Fishing industry and related perspectives on no-take MPA proposals in SW England: this project explored different views on recent proposals that 20-30% of the area of the UK's seas should be closed to fishing and the related issues raised by the then forthcoming Marine Bill. It built on a paper on the collective action problems posed by no-take zones and involved a programme of interviews with fishermen and their representatives in Devon/Cornwall (June - October 2005). These interviews explored different views on the issues raised by no-take MPA proposals. This study was funded by a sabbatical research grant from UCL's Faculty of Social & Historical Sciences. Final Report (August 2007). Copy of 1st paper from this study: Fishing industry and related perspectives on the issues raised by no-take marine protected area proposals. Copy of 2nd paper from this study: Equity, justice and power issues raised by no-take MPA proposals.

Social, economic & legal constraints to highly protected marine areas in Wales: consultancy study for Countryside Council for Wales in collaboration with an ecologist and a barrister. My focus was on social constraints (July –Sept 06)

Assessment of different approaches to managing marine protected areas in England: consultancy study for English Nature in collaboration with the Marine Institute, University of Plymouth (July – Sept 2006). Report: Methods for Managing MPAs

Community and public participation - risk communication and improving decision-making in flood & coastal defence: project under DEFRA/EA Flood and Coastal Defence Research Programme (Policy Development Theme); subcontractor to Sott Wilson, focusing particularly on the design and facilitation of stakeholder workshops, editing reports and providing general advice; Nov 2001 - April 2003. See DEFRA project web site. Download a copy of the project report or a conference paper that summarises the findings of this project.

The promotion of stakeholder participation in the Columbretes MPA, Spain: advising the Valencian Regional Government in collaboration with the University of Valencia (Prof's Ernest Garcia & Francesc La Roca) as to the development of a strategic approach to the promotion of stakeholder participation in the expansion of the Columbretes MPA. Sept 2002, funded by the Valencian Regional Government.

Evaluation of stakeholder involvement in UK marine SACs: in collaboration with Professor Jacquie Burgess, Environment & Society Research Unit (ESRU), Dept of Geography. Involved interviews with project officers and relevant authorities to evaluate approaches employed to involve stakeholders in the management scheme preparation process and make recommendations concerning good practice in various contexts. April 1999 - March 2001, funded by English Nature under EC LIFE demonstration project: UK Marine SACs. Download a pdf copy of the Full Final Report or of the Summary Final Report. See copy of paper (Jones & Burgess 2005) based on this project.

Recommendations concerning approaches for promoting relevant authority and stakeholder participation in marine SACs in the Azores: short study in collaboration with the LIFE funded MARÉ Project, Sept 2001. Download a pdf copy of the Final Report

Development of meaningful indicators of the success of estuarine management partnerships: questionnaire survey and workshop with estuary partnership project officers to assess the applicability and usefulness of a provisional set of indicators, resulting in a set of trial indicators. Jan - Feb 2000, funded by English Nature under the Estuaries Initiative. Download a pdf copy of the Full Final Report or the Summary Final Report

The role of Value Conflict Assessment Techniques (VALCOAST) in the formulation of implementable and effective coastal zone management policies. EC funded project that I initiated and coordinated whilst at Heriot-Watt University. June 1994 - July 1997; see VALCOAST page for further details.

Past PhDs

Governance of Marine Protected Areas in China: this PhD research addressed three questions:-

Funded through a UCL Graduate School Overseas Research Scholarship awarded to Wanfei Feifei Qiu (w.qiu[at]; October 2006 - September 2010. Paper arising from this research:-

Qiu W., Wang B., Jones P.J.S. and Axmacher J. (2009) Challenges in developing China’s marine protected areas system. Marine Policy 33(4), 599-605. DOI - Copy of paper

An analysis of partnership approaches to achieve strategic marine conservation objectives and of the perspectives of different actors on such approaches: ESRC CASE studentship (PhD student Tom Roberts) in collaboration with Natural England (Kate Bull). January 2006 - December 2008. See original ESRC project proposal for more details. Paper arising from this research:-

Roberts T. and Jones P.J.S (2009) Shellfishing, eider ducks and nature conservation on the Wash: questions raised by a fractured partnership. Society & Natural Resources 22(6), 538-553. DOI - Copy of paper

Offshore Marine Conservation in the North-East Atlantic: opportunities and challenges for the developing regime: this PhD study was undertaken by Elizabeth De Santo under the supervision of Dr Jones and Professor Philippe Sands (Centre for Law and the Environment, UCL); completed October 2008. Papers derived from this PhD research:-

De Santo, E.M. and Jones P.J.S. (2007) Offshore marine conservation policies in the North East Atlantic: emerging tensions and opportunities. Marine Policy 31(3), 336-347. Copy of paper

De Santo E.M. and Jones P.J.S. (2007) The Darwin Mounds – from undiscovered coral to the development of an offshore marine protected area regime. Bulletin of Marine Science 81(s1), 147-156. Copy of paper

An analysis of issues concerning the designation and management of the Lošinj archipelago MPA, Croatia: this PhD study was undertaken by Peter Mackelworth under the supervision of Dr Jones and Professor Jacquie Burgess. The researcher worked with NGOs, local interests and the Croatian government to develop this MPA proposal and establish a management scheme, with a particular focus on the conservation of the bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus) population. It involved an institutional analysis of various issues. March 2001 - May 2007 (part time); funded by and carried out in collaboration with the Adriatic Dolphin Project. PDF of PhD Thesis

If you are interested in further information on these projects, you can contact Peter Jones by email on, by phone on +44 (0)20 7679 0528, by fax on +44 (0)20 7679 0565, or by mail at Dept of Geography, UCL, Pearson Building, Gower Street, London, WC1E 6BT, UK. You can also visit Peter Jones' web site for further information on his current research interests.
This page was last updated by Peter Jones on 9 May 2011