[Coral-List] Speak up!

Brock Bergseth bjbergseth at gmail.com
Tue Mar 7 20:15:48 EST 2017

Hi Jim and fellow coral list-eners,
I'm one of the fellow ~9000 people who subscribes to keep abreast of new
topics and threads in coral reef science. I am also an admitted free-rider
who does little to contribute. But Jim - be careful what you wish for,
because my first contribution is going to be a shameless piece of
self-promotion. Below is an abstract from a recent social-ecological
investigation of poaching by recreational fishers on The Great Barrier
Reef. I'm admittedly biased, but I believe compliance is a central issue
that affects nearly every conservation and management tool available to
managers and other folks working on the sharp, applied end of natural
resource management. Although it is difficult to discuss, measure, and
understand, I firmly believe that doing so is necessary to ensure the
efficacy of current and future conservation efforts.

Abstract: Effective conservation depends upon people’s compliance with
regulations, yet non- compliance (eg poaching) is often the rule rather
than the exception. Poaching is often clandestine and socially undesirable,
requiring specialized, multidisciplinary approaches for assessment and
management. We estimated poaching by recreational fishers in no- fishing
reserves of Australia’s Great Barrier Reef Marine Park (GBRMP) by
conducting social surveys and quantifying derelict (lost or discarded)
fishing gear. Our study revealed that (1) between 3–18% of fishers admitted
to poaching within the past year, (2) poaching activities were often
concentrated at certain times (holidays) and in specific places (poaching
hotspots), and (3) fishers’ primary motivations to poach were the
perception of higher catches in reserves and a low probability of
detection. Our results suggest that extolling certain ecological benefits
of marine reserves where enforcement capacity is low could lead to the
perverse outcome of encouraging non- compliance. Our combined
social–ecological approach revealed that even in an iconic marine park such
as the GBRMP, poaching levels are higher than previously assumed, which has
implications for effective management.

If you want to read more:

Finally, if you made it to reading this sentence, thanks for your time and


Brock Bergseth
PhD Candidate
ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies
School of Marine & Tropical Biology
James Cook University
Townsville, QLD. 4811

Ph: +61 (0) 7 4781 4829
Mob: +61 (0) 415 655 551
Email: brock.bergseth at my.jcu.edu.au

On Fri, Feb 24, 2017 at 7:20 AM, James Hendee <jim.hendee at noaa.gov> wrote:

> Greetings,
>     I'm sure you've noticed this, too, that there are a lot of the usual
> voices that speak up on Coral-List, which is great because they almost
> always bring up good points or new ways of looking at things, or they
> point to new or relevant research.  However, we currently have at least
> *9,330 subscribers* to Coral-List, and I'm sure there are a ton of
> opinions, viewpoints and excellent good ideas out there that aren't
> being expressed.  SPEAK UP, for cryin' out loud!  You're not a dummy!
> Your opinion counts, and boy do we ever need new and good ideas at this
> perilous stage of coral conservation.  If you just want to ask a
> question, speak up!  Of course we would all appreciate it if you did
> your homework before asking a question (including talking to your
> wonderful librarian!), but you should not be intimidated by the "Big
> Names" that speak in this forum.  Hey, I say dumb stuff all the time
> (just ask my colleagues!), but now and then I come up with a good idea.
> It's worth the effort.  We need young minds to look at things afresh!
>     I should also mention that I personally see value in posting new
> coral conservation related abstracts of recent and new publications.  I
> know some of you think that doing that is "shameless self-promotion,"
> but I would encourage you to look at the bigger picture.  So what if the
> bum is a shameless self-promoter, if the work is good enough to be
> published in a peer-reviewed journal, it almost always is good enough
> for us coral researchers and conservationists to know.  Let's face it:
> we can't read every journal article in every good journal, so reading an
> abstract informs us and helps us decide if we want to know more.  If
> reading a short abstract brings home to knowledge you can use, then it
> spreads the awareness of the bigger picture.  So get with the program!
>     Okay, I'm done ranting.  Carry on...
>     Cheers,
>     Jim
>     Coral-List Admin

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