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Researchers from The University of Queensland, UP Marine Science Institute, (UPMSI), De La Salle University and UP Los Baños meet in Manila, Philippines, during June. (Picture: K. Follosco)

Spotlight on spatial planning models, tools


A working group of scientists from four universities in the Philippines and Australia has been formed to research spatial modeling of fisheries and marine protected areas (MPAs).

The researchers - from The University of Queensland, UP Marine Science Institute, (UPMSI), De La Salle University and UP Los Baños – met at a workshop in Manila, Philippines, during June.

The workshop aimed to explore collaborative research opportunities on the subject of developing models and tools for fisheries management and MPA network design.

Discussion focused on collaboration in the development of a spatially-explicit version of the fisheries management tool FISH-BE (Licuanan et al., 2006). Workshop participants agreed on a plan to incorporate the effect of habitat quality on reef fish recovery and carrying capacity within a reserve into the model. They also discussed how to include the influence of larval connectivity.

A research project to explore and quantify the importance of MPA network design was also discussed. This is a study ideally suited to the Philippineswhich has many small MPAs, and the question of where to place them is important.

A team of collaborators, who will work together to address a list of novel research questions about the value of MPA network design (e.g., versus ad-hoc MPA placement for conservation and fisheries targets), was identified. Timelines were put in place to compile data and develop a model to address these questions, and publish results.

Participants also shared research interests and respective progress, and discussed other “wild-card” research questions that might be addressed together

For more details, contact:

Prof. Peter Mumby 
Chief Scientist, CCRES 
c/- Marine Spatial Ecology Lab 
The University of Queensland 
Tel. +61 (0) 449 811 589 
[email protected]