Jim Higgs

Acting Program Director

Jim has an extensive career spanning over three decades of tropical marine research, monitoring, compliance, policy development and advocacy with a primary focus on the Great Barrier Reef. His early research career included commercial research diving on reefs from the Swains to Lizard Island, line fishing experiments, and early tropical fish aging studies.  As manager of the Queensland Fisheries Assessment Unit he gained extensive understanding of the Queensland commercial, recreational, charter and traditional fisheries. This knowledge supported the delivery of the rezoning of the Great Barrier Reef in 2004 and the Moreton Bay Marine Park in 2008. He was central to identify impacts and designing structural adjustment packages for these rezoning processes. This included the development of a trial artificial reef program in Moreton Bay. Prior to joining AIMS, he worked for WWF Australia initially working on GBR fisheries advocacy before pivoting to support WWF offices in PNG, Solomon Island and Fiji implement coastal community conservation projects.

Jim completed a MSc at James Cook University in 1993 that used fishing club competition records to monitor the status of coral reef fish stocks from 1957-1990.  He is currently finalising a PhD at James Cook University investigating trends in recreational fishing demand for resources.