The inaugural World Congress on Aquatic Protected Areas was held in conjunction with the 31st Annual Conference of the Australian Society for Fish Biology in August 2002 in Cairns, Queensland. The Congress was an outstanding success with over 360 delegates from 12 countries represented. The purpose of the Congress was to examine what we know works in selecting, managing and monitoring aquatic protected areas and how we know what works best. The five main themes covered defining the beneficiaries of APAs, design and selection, success factors, measuring performance and what roles such areas could play in the aquatic ecosystem.
The congress proceedings contain 73 papers, plus theme summaries, representing a broad diversity of research, management perspectives, views and opinions that will be invaluable for any serious discussion or debate on the topic.