Courses & Units

Marine Resource Management and Conservation KSM201


There is a long history of debate around marine resource issues; with topics such as fisheries and fishing community exploitation, the potential impacts of climate change and the environmental and social implications of aquaculture development regularly running hot on media channels globally. The answers to these complex issues are by no means certain. Scientists worldwide argue over whether most fish stocks are dangerously close to collapse or whether they are fine and being quickly recovered by effective management. Some scientists want to protect marine biodiversity and future fisheries production by rapidly increasing the global coverage of no-take marine protected areas, while others consider this grossly misguided, citing that future food security and the economies of small island nations requires active fisheries free from outside interference. Whilst aquaculture presents many benefits, both economically and as a means to relieve pressure on wild fisheries, there is potential for adverse environmental interactions. Those that have been in Tasmania over recent years could hardly have missed the loud debate over the use of a ‘supertrawler’ to harvest small pelagic fish from local waters or around the role of aquaculture in the changing environmental conditions in Macquarie Harbour. What factors led to the invitation for this vessel to come and what arguments were used to force it to leave? How did the Macquarie Harbour situation arise and how was it managed? And most importantly what can be learned from these processes? This unit is designed to expose students to a diversity of views about the state of the marine environment and how marine resources are managed. Students will get the opportunity to learn about, and consider, management issues associated with commercial industries such as fishing and aquaculture, but will also reflect upon the broader values associated with marine and coastal ecosystems and the complexity of conservation management, spatial planning and resource allocation. Students will gain experience in using a variety of methodological approaches to quantitatively assess the state of global fisheries, and the impacts of fishing down the marine food web. We will review various techniques that are being used to address challenges with marine resource management locally, nationally and globally. We will consider and debate the pros and cons of different fisheries practices (i.e. whether super trawlers should operate in state waters), and the benefits of marine protected areas. Students will be confronted by presentations from experts with differing views and will gain experience in sifting through different types of information, data and evidence, and will be challenged to consider both the validity and likely impact of those different information sources and points of view on management decision making. Students will be expected to be able to mount a testable, information-based argument for a range of positions on important marine resource issues. Upon completion students will be equipped with the knowledge and understanding to play an active part in public debate around marine resource management and conservation and will be better equipped for future roles in marine resource management. "The conservation of natural resources is the fundamental problem. Unless we solve that problem it will avail us little to solve all others." ~ Theodore Roosevelt 26th US President (1901-1909) "The current model is global suicide. We need a revolution. Revolutionary thinking. Revolutionary action. Natural resources are becoming more and more scarce." ~ Ban Ki-moon UN Secretary General (2007-16)


Unit name Marine Resource Management and Conservation
Unit code KSM201
Credit points 12.5
College/School College of Sciences and Engineering
Institute for Marine & Antarctic Studies
Discipline Ecology and Biodiversity|Fisheries and Aquaculture
Coordinator Doctor Jemina Stuart-Smith
Available as an elective? Yes
Delivered By University of Tasmania
Level Intermediate


Location Study period Attendance options Available to
Hobart Semester 1 On-Campus International Domestic


International students
Domestic students

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Key Dates

Study Period Start date Census date WW date End date
Semester 1 26/2/2024 22/3/2024 15/4/2024 2/6/2024

* The Final WW Date is the final date from which you can withdraw from the unit without academic penalty, however you will still incur a financial liability (refer to How do I withdraw from a unit? for more information).

Unit census dates currently displaying for 2024 are indicative and subject to change. Finalised census dates for 2024 will be available from the 1st October 2023. Note census date cutoff is 11.59pm AEST (AEDT during October to March).

About Census Dates

Learning Outcomes

  • Understand and participate in the scientific and public debate surrounding the management and conservation of marine resources within Tasmania, Australia and globally.
  • Apply new skills to explore and test the validity of facts and opinions expressed by scientists, lobbyists and the media concerning marine resources.
  • Critically assess the logic, effectiveness and impact of marine policies as they relate to management and conservation.
  • Understand the difficulty faced by marine policy makers in the face of divergent opinion and apparently contradictory ‘facts’.
  • Develop an informed opinion on the management and conservation of Australian, regional and global marine resources.

Fee Information

The 2024 Commonwealth Supported Place (CSP) rates are still being finalised by the Government and we will update the domestic fee information as soon as we have more details.





Teaching Pattern

Unit content be delivered weekly over 14 weeks and will comprise:

  • 2 x 1hr lectures weekly
  • 3hr practical (including 30 min tutorial) each week.
  • 2 field trips during the course.
AssessmentMandatory Weekly Online Quizzes (10%)|Monitored Discussion Posts (x2) (10%)|Written Assignments (30%)|Ongoing Assignment (50%)
TimetableView the lecture timetable | View the full unit timetable



There is no formal text required for this unit.


Pre-reading recommendations (relevant papers, websites etc) for each lecture will be provided in the online unit outline and uploaded to the lecture information on MyLO.

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