While land uses have long been regulated, people have always enjoyed the common property rights and inherent freedoms of the seas. The ‘sudden'' control of these marine environments brought about by marine reserve placement is often perceived to violate these long-standing rights and is hence causing numerous conflicts throughout the world. This study looks at the initial considerations and factors of how the support of stakeholders and local communities can be obtained to help ensure the success of a planned marine protected area. This is carried out by looking at the Australian Government''s policy on marine protected areas, how marine reserves are chosen, and explores the socio¬economic impacts of marine reserve placement. Finally, multiple criteria analysis is assessed as to its value as tool in the planning process.