Scientific and Popular Papers

This section of the website consists of 22 papers by Dr W. J. Ballantine, of the Leigh Marine Laboratory, University of Auckland. These papers were written over the period 1992-2006. Additional material will be added later. They are listed with a brief description, with the most recent given first. The papers are in pdf file format, you will need 'Acrobat Reader' to view them. This can be obtained free from the Adobe site -

Comments (constructive and critical) are welcomed –

List of papers:


Ballantine, W.J. 2014, Fifty years on: Lessons from marine reserves in New Zealand and principles for a worldwide network.
Biological Conservation Volume 176, pages 297-307.

This paper reviews 50 years of experience with marine reserves in New Zealand and attempts to extract from this the principles necessary for their successful establishment.


Ballantine, W.J. and Langlois, T.J. 2007, Marine Reserves : The need for systems.

Shows the scientific benefits of marine reserves.



Langlois, T.J. and Ballantine, W.J. 2005, Marine Ecological Research in New Zealand: Developing predictive models though the study of marine reserves.
Conservation Biology Volume 19, pages 1763-1770.

Reviews 25 years of ecological studies in NZ marine reserves and the complex changes that have occurred in them.


Ballantine, W. J. 2004 Viewpoint: A marine reserves manifesto. New Zealand Geographic (September issue).

Explains in plain English what marine reserves are and why we need them.


Ballantine, W. J. 2003 MPA Perspective: Practical action with marine reserve systems. MPA News, Volume 4, No.10, page 5.

Shows that, as systems of marine reserves come in being, new forms of scientific investigation are possible, and new uses of the results will develop.


Ballantine, W. J. 2003 MPA Perspective: Scientific principles for marine reserve systems. MPA News, Volume 4, No. 9, page 5.

Argues that as we move to systems of marine reserves (rather than one at a time), the scientific principles become much clearer and, hence, political action easier.


Ballantine, W. J. 2002 Speech to Prime Minister and others in Auckland. Oceans Day, June 8th.
Appeal to politicians to see past the detail and make decisions on the basis of principles which are largely common sens


Ballantine, W. J. 2002 Oral Submission to the Select Committee of Parliament considering a Bill to replace the 1971 Marine Reserves Act

An attempt to persuade the legislators to adopt some principles and develop a real policy for marine reserves.


Ballantine, W.J. 2002 MPA Perspective: MPAs improve general management, Marine Reserves ensure conservation. MPA News. Volume 3, Number 12, page 5.

Counters the argument that flexibly designed marine protected areas can provide all that we need in the sea.


Ballantine, W. J. 2001 Marine Reserves.

Paper written for the Ad Hoc Technical Expert Group (AHTEG) of the Secretariat of the Convention on Biodiversity (CBD), part of the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP), who met at Leigh in October 2001.


Ballantine, W. J. (as coordinator) 2000 Denials, Distractions and Dead Ends.
Written for the course ‘Principles and dynamics of Marine Reserves’.

Classifies the range of arguments commonly used by objectors to marine reserves, by relating these to the basic principles for such reserves.


Ballantine, W. J. 1999 Marine Reserves in New Zealand : The development of the concept and the principles. Pages 3-38 in Proceedings of a Workshop on Marine Conservation, Korean Ocean Research and Development Institute, held at Cheju Is., November.1999.

Summarises the principles from 35 years of experience with no-take marine reserves in New Zealand. [Prints as 26 pages]


Ballantine, W. J. 1999 Marine Biodiversity. Presented at technical workshop on New Zealand draft Biodiversity Strategy, NIWA, Wellington, February 1999.

Argues that any effective strategy for the protection of marine biodiversity requires a representative network of no-take marine reserves. [Prints as 7 pages].


Ballantine, W. J. 1998 Marine Reserves: The time for a new approach? Presented at the Department of Conservation, Wellington, November 1998.

Now that New Zealand has a wide scatter of successful marine reserves, it is time to aim for a full system based on scientific and common-sense principles. [Prints as 10 pages]


Ballantine, W. J. 1998 A System of Marine Reserves: The opportunity and the obligation. Presented at Sea Views conference, Wellington, February 1998.

A short account, suitable for general use, of no-take marine reserves. [Prints as 5 pages]


Ballantine, W. J. 1997 Design principles for systems of ‘no-take’ marine reserves. Presented at a workshop on ‘The Design and Monitoring of Marine Reserves’ at Fisheries Centre, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, February 1997.

Argues that by moving from single reserves to systems of reserves, and from data-based predictions to general principles, benefits are increased and implementation is simpler. [Prints as 20 pages]


Ballantine, W. J. 1997 Education in no-take marine reserves. Presented at Marine Education Society of Australasia’s annual conference, Hobart, January 1997.

Describes the uses and values of marine reserves for education, especially at secondary school level. [Prints as 12 pages]


Ballantine, W.J. 1997 A policy for marine reserves’. A letter to all Members of Parliament in New Zealand in February 1997.

Suggests a clear and simple policy for no-take marine reserves and argues that this is now politically-sensible and socially-acceptable. [Prints as 3 pages]


Ballantine, W. J. 1996 ‘No-take’ marine reserve networks support fisheries. In Hancock, D.A. et al (editors) Developing and Sustaining World Fisheries. 2nd World Fisheries' Congress. CSIRO, Australia.

Describes how networks of no-take reserves will assist fisheries scientists, fisheries managers and fishermen. [Prints as 9 pages]


Ballantine, W. J. 1995 The New Zealand experience with ‘no-take’ marine reserves. In Roberts et al, Review of the Use of Marine Fisheries Reserves in the U.S. Southeastern Atlantic. NOAA Tech. Memorandum, National Marine Fisheries Service-SEFSC-376.

Shows how the New Zealand experience supports the proposal to create no-take areas covering 20% of federal waters in the Southeastern USA. [Prints as 19 pages]


Ballantine, W. J. 1995 Networks of ‘no-take’ marine reserves are practical and necessary. In Shackell and Willison (editors) Marine Protected Areas and Sustainable Fisheries. Science and Management of Protected Areas Association, Nova Scotia.

The basic principles for marine conservation; the assumptions that tend to prevent it, and how marine reserves provide a way out. [Prints as 9 pages]


Ballantine, W. J. 1994 The practicality and benefits of a marine reserve network. In Gimbel, K.L. (editor) Limiting access to marine fisheries: Keeping the focus on conservation. Center for Marine Conservation, Washington, D.C.

Shows how despite the many detailed fisheries regulations, the accepted principles of conservation (on land) have not yet been applied to the sea. [Prints as 16 pages]


Ballantine, W. J. 1993 Marine reserves and coastal conservation. Pages 14-21 in Wade Doak (editor) The New Zealand Diver’s Guide, 165 pp, Reed Books, Auckland.

The recreational value of marine reserves, especially for divers. [Prints as 7 pages]