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The use of marine protected areas as a major tool in marine conservation is now accepted throughout much of the world. New South Wales is committed to a process of establishing a comprehensive system of marine protected areas for all marine waters under its jurisdiction. The current status of the NSW system is presented here and the role of science in the process of establishing and managing that system is explored. Scientific analysis has been able to greatly assist the selection of candidate sites for marine protected areas along the NSW coast, but the challenge for scientists now is to develop monitoring and evaluation procedures that will provide the basis for continuous improvement of the system. This is particularly important if the arrangement of marine protected areas is to function as an effective ecological network rather than merely as a collection of ecologically isolated elements.

ANZECC TFMPA. 1998. Australian and New Zealand Environment and Conservation Council, Task Force on Marine Protected Areas. Guidelines for establishing the national system of marine protected areas. Environment Australia. Canberra, Australia.
Avery, R. P. 2001. Byron Bay area assessment, Tweed-Moreton Bioregion, northern NSW: A review of the current marine biodiversity data sets and an introduction to systematic marine protected area planning in NSW. A NSW National Parks Wildlife Service Report to the NSW Marine Parks Authority.
Babcock, R. C. 2003. The New Zealand Marine Reserve Experience: the science behind the politics. Pp 108-119 in Conservation of Marine Environments, edited by P. A. Hutchings and D. Lunney, Royal Zoological Society of NSW, Mosman, NSW.
Ballantine, W. J. 1997. Design principles for systems of ‘notake’ marine reserves. P4 in The design and monitoring of marine reserves. Vol. 9, No. 1. Edited by T. J. Pitcher. Fisheries Centre, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada.
Barrett, N. and Buxton, C. (eds) 2002 Examining underwater visual census techniques for the assessment of population structure and biodiversity in temperate coastal marine protected areas. Tasmanian Aquaculture & Fisheries Institute, Technical Report Series No. 11. 114pp.
Breen, D. A., Avery, R. P. and Otway N. (in press a) Broadscale biodiversity assessment of the Manning Shelf Bioregion. Marine Parks Authority, Sydney, Australia.
Breen, D. A., Avery, R. P. and Otway N. (in press b). Broadscale biodiversity assessments for marine protected areas in New South Wales Australia. Proceedings of the World Congress on Marine Protected Areas. Cairns, Queensland, Australia.
Burridge, C. Y., Pitcher, C. R., Wassenberg, T. J., Poiner, I. R. and Hill, B. 2003. Measurement of the rate of depletion of benthic fauna by prawn (shrimp) otter trawls: an experiment in the Great Barrier Reef, Australia. Fisheries Research 60: 237-253.
Creese, R. G. and Cole, R. G. 1995. Marine conservation in New Zealand. Pacific Conservation Biology 2: 55-63.
Crosby, M. P., Greenen, K. S. and Bohne, R. 2000. Alternative access management strategies for marine and coastal protected areas: a reference for their development and assessment. Man and the Biosphere Program. Washington, D. C. USA.
Day, J., Fernandes, L., Lewis, A., De’ Ath, G., Slegers, S., Barnett, B., Kerrigan, B., Breen, D., Innes, J., Oliver, J., Ward, T. and Lowe, D. 2002. The representative areas program - protecting the biodiversity of the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area. Proceedings of the 9th International Coral Reef Symposium. Bali, Indonesia, 2000 Vol. 1: 687-696.
Gerber, L., Botsford, L. W., Hastings, A, Possingham, H. P., Gaines, S. D., Palumbi, S. R. and Andelman, S. 2003. Population models for marine reserve design: A retrospective and prospective synthesis. Ecological Applications 13: S47-S64.
Halpern, B. S. 2003. The impact of marine reserves: do reserves work and does size matter Ecological Applications 13: S117-S137.
Harriot, V. J., Smith, D. A., and Harrison, P. L. 1994. Patterns of coral community structure of subtropical reefs in the Solitary Islands Marine Reserve, Eastern Australia. Marine Ecology Progress Series 109: 67-76.
IMCRA. 1998. Interim marine and coastal bioregionalisation for Australia, Version 3.3. Environment Australia. Canberra, Australia.
Kelleher, G. C., Bleakley, C. and Wells, S. 1995. A global representative system of marine protected areas. The World Bank, Washington D. C., USA.
Kingsford, M. J. and Battershill, C. N. (eds) 1998 Studying Temperate Marine Environments: a handbook for ecologists. Canterbury University Press, Christchurch. 334pp.
Leis, J. M. in press. What does larval fish biology tell us about the design and efficacy of marine protected areas? Proceedings of the World Congress on Marine Protected Areas. Cairns, Queensland, Australia.
Leslie, H., Ruckelshaus, M., Ball, I. R., Andelman, S. and Possingham, H. P. 2003. Using siting algorithms in the design of marine reserve networks. Ecological Applications 13: S185-S198.
Lubchenco, J., Palumbi, S. R., Gaines, S. D. and Andelman, S. 2003. Plugging a hole in the ocean: the emerging science of marine reserves. Ecological Applications 13: S3-S7.
MPA 2001. Developing a representative system of marine protected areas in NSW - an overview. NSW Marine Parks Authority. Sydney, Australia. 36pp.
MPA in press. Strategic framework for the evaluation and monitoring of marine parks in NSW. NSW Marine Parks Authority. Sydney, Australia.
Neigel, J. E. 2003. Species-area relationships and marine conservation. Ecological Applications 13: S138-S145.
Otway, N. M., Burke, A. L., Morrison, N. S. and Parker, P. C. 2003. Monitoring and identification of NSW critical habitat sites for the conservation of Grey Nurse Sharks. NSW Fisheries Final Report Series No.47. 62pp.
Pressey, R. L., Johnson, I. R., and Wilson, P. D. 1994. Shades of irreplaceability: towards a measure of contribution of sites to a reservation goal. Biological Conservation 80: 2017-2019.
Roberts, C. M. and Hawkins, J. P. 2000 Fully-protected marine reserves: a guide. World Wide Fund for Nature, Washington.
Roberts, C. M., Halpern, B.S, Palumbi, S. and Warner, R. R. 2001. Designing marine reserve networks. Biological Conservation in Practice 2: 10-17.
Roberts, C. M., Andelman, S., Branch, G. M., Bustamante, R. H., Castilla, J. C., Dugan, J. E., Halpern, B. S., Lafferty, K. D., Leslie, H., Lubchenco, J., McArdle, D., Possingham, H. P., Ruckelshaus, M. and Warner, R. R. 2003. Ecological criteria for evaluating candidate sites for marine reserves. Ecological Applications 13: S199-S215.
Salm, R. V. Clark, J. R. and Siirila, E. 2000. Marine and coastal protected areas: a guide for planners and managers. Third edition. Gland, Switzerland. International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources.
Thompson A. A. and Mapstone B. D. 2002. Intra vs interannual variation in counts of reef fishes and interpretations of long term monitoring studies. Marine Ecology Progress Series 232: 247-257.
Underwood, A. J. 1997 Experiments in ecology: their logical design and interpretation using analysis of variance. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge. 504pp.
Underwood, A. J. and Kennelly, S. J. 1990. Pilot studies for designs of surveys of human disturbance of intertidal habitats in NSW. Australian Journal of Marine and Freshwater Research 41: 165-173.
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References

ANZECC TFMPA. 1998. Australian and New Zealand Environment and Conservation Council, Task Force on Marine Protected Areas. Guidelines for establishing the national system of marine protected areas. Environment Australia. Canberra, Australia.
Avery, R. P. 2001. Byron Bay area assessment, Tweed-Moreton Bioregion, northern NSW: A review of the current marine biodiversity data sets and an introduction to systematic marine protected area planning in NSW. A NSW National Parks Wildlife Service Report to the NSW Marine Parks Authority.
Babcock, R. C. 2003. The New Zealand Marine Reserve Experience: the science behind the politics. Pp 108-119 in Conservation of Marine Environments, edited by P. A. Hutchings and D. Lunney, Royal Zoological Society of NSW, Mosman, NSW.
Ballantine, W. J. 1997. Design principles for systems of ‘notake’ marine reserves. P4 in The design and monitoring of marine reserves. Vol. 9, No. 1. Edited by T. J. Pitcher. Fisheries Centre, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada.
Barrett, N. and Buxton, C. (eds) 2002 Examining underwater visual census techniques for the assessment of population structure and biodiversity in temperate coastal marine protected areas. Tasmanian Aquaculture & Fisheries Institute, Technical Report Series No. 11. 114pp.
Breen, D. A., Avery, R. P. and Otway N. (in press a) Broadscale biodiversity assessment of the Manning Shelf Bioregion. Marine Parks Authority, Sydney, Australia.
Breen, D. A., Avery, R. P. and Otway N. (in press b). Broadscale biodiversity assessments for marine protected areas in New South Wales Australia. Proceedings of the World Congress on Marine Protected Areas. Cairns, Queensland, Australia.
Burridge, C. Y., Pitcher, C. R., Wassenberg, T. J., Poiner, I. R. and Hill, B. 2003. Measurement of the rate of depletion of benthic fauna by prawn (shrimp) otter trawls: an experiment in the Great Barrier Reef, Australia. Fisheries Research 60: 237-253.
Creese, R. G. and Cole, R. G. 1995. Marine conservation in New Zealand. Pacific Conservation Biology 2: 55-63.
Crosby, M. P., Greenen, K. S. and Bohne, R. 2000. Alternative access management strategies for marine and coastal protected areas: a reference for their development and assessment. Man and the Biosphere Program. Washington, D. C. USA.
Day, J., Fernandes, L., Lewis, A., De’ Ath, G., Slegers, S., Barnett, B., Kerrigan, B., Breen, D., Innes, J., Oliver, J., Ward, T. and Lowe, D. 2002. The representative areas program - protecting the biodiversity of the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area. Proceedings of the 9th International Coral Reef Symposium. Bali, Indonesia, 2000 Vol. 1: 687-696.
Gerber, L., Botsford, L. W., Hastings, A, Possingham, H. P., Gaines, S. D., Palumbi, S. R. and Andelman, S. 2003. Population models for marine reserve design: A retrospective and prospective synthesis. Ecological Applications 13: S47-S64.
Halpern, B. S. 2003. The impact of marine reserves: do reserves work and does size matter Ecological Applications 13: S117-S137.
Harriot, V. J., Smith, D. A., and Harrison, P. L. 1994. Patterns of coral community structure of subtropical reefs in the Solitary Islands Marine Reserve, Eastern Australia. Marine Ecology Progress Series 109: 67-76.
IMCRA. 1998. Interim marine and coastal bioregionalisation for Australia, Version 3.3. Environment Australia. Canberra, Australia.
Kelleher, G. C., Bleakley, C. and Wells, S. 1995. A global representative system of marine protected areas. The World Bank, Washington D. C., USA.
Kingsford, M. J. and Battershill, C. N. (eds) 1998 Studying Temperate Marine Environments: a handbook for ecologists. Canterbury University Press, Christchurch. 334pp.
Leis, J. M. in press. What does larval fish biology tell us about the design and efficacy of marine protected areas? Proceedings of the World Congress on Marine Protected Areas. Cairns, Queensland, Australia.
Leslie, H., Ruckelshaus, M., Ball, I. R., Andelman, S. and Possingham, H. P. 2003. Using siting algorithms in the design of marine reserve networks. Ecological Applications 13: S185-S198.
Lubchenco, J., Palumbi, S. R., Gaines, S. D. and Andelman, S. 2003. Plugging a hole in the ocean: the emerging science of marine reserves. Ecological Applications 13: S3-S7.
MPA 2001. Developing a representative system of marine protected areas in NSW - an overview. NSW Marine Parks Authority. Sydney, Australia. 36pp.
MPA in press. Strategic framework for the evaluation and monitoring of marine parks in NSW. NSW Marine Parks Authority. Sydney, Australia.
Neigel, J. E. 2003. Species-area relationships and marine conservation. Ecological Applications 13: S138-S145.
Otway, N. M., Burke, A. L., Morrison, N. S. and Parker, P. C. 2003. Monitoring and identification of NSW critical habitat sites for the conservation of Grey Nurse Sharks. NSW Fisheries Final Report Series No.47. 62pp.
Pressey, R. L., Johnson, I. R., and Wilson, P. D. 1994. Shades of irreplaceability: towards a measure of contribution of sites to a reservation goal. Biological Conservation 80: 2017-2019.
Roberts, C. M. and Hawkins, J. P. 2000 Fully-protected marine reserves: a guide. World Wide Fund for Nature, Washington.
Roberts, C. M., Halpern, B.S, Palumbi, S. and Warner, R. R. 2001. Designing marine reserve networks. Biological Conservation in Practice 2: 10-17.
Roberts, C. M., Andelman, S., Branch, G. M., Bustamante, R. H., Castilla, J. C., Dugan, J. E., Halpern, B. S., Lafferty, K. D., Leslie, H., Lubchenco, J., McArdle, D., Possingham, H. P., Ruckelshaus, M. and Warner, R. R. 2003. Ecological criteria for evaluating candidate sites for marine reserves. Ecological Applications 13: S199-S215.
Salm, R. V. Clark, J. R. and Siirila, E. 2000. Marine and coastal protected areas: a guide for planners and managers. Third edition. Gland, Switzerland. International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources.
Thompson A. A. and Mapstone B. D. 2002. Intra vs interannual variation in counts of reef fishes and interpretations of long term monitoring studies. Marine Ecology Progress Series 232: 247-257.
Underwood, A. J. 1997 Experiments in ecology: their logical design and interpretation using analysis of variance. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge. 504pp.
Underwood, A. J. and Kennelly, S. J. 1990. Pilot studies for designs of surveys of human disturbance of intertidal habitats in NSW. Australian Journal of Marine and Freshwater Research 41: 165-173.
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