This theme will contribute towards two blue-prints: first, for a sustained national environmental monitoring strategy designed to evaluate marine ecosystem health, and: second, for a sustained monitoring strategy to help manage the Commonwealth Marine Reserve Network (focussing on the Southeast Marine Region). This research aligns broad strategies in the Draft Marine Bioregional Plan for the South West Marine Region and with a number of research priorities identified by the Marine Division of the Department of Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities (SEWPaC). It will facilitate closer liaison between federal agencies such as SEWPAC, Bureau of Meteorology (BOM), and Department of Innovation, Industry, Science and Research (DIISR), and state agencies responsible for the management of Marine Protected Areas (MPAs), to identify the data infrastructure requirements and logistical/statistical constraints of a sustained national marine monitoring strategy.
Five outputs of this theme will be:
- An analysis of alternative approaches for monitoring biodiversity in Commonwealth waters based on scientific, economic, and logistical considerations (this is a joint output with the Supporting management of marine biodiversity theme - integrating social, economic and environmental values project).
- Identification of the evidence-base/data requirements for managing the Southeast network of Commonwealth Marine Reserves and by extension networks in other bioregions
- Identification of the evidence-base/data requirements to evaluate and report on national marine ecosystem health
- Data analysis (within limits of existing data) to inform national-scale marine ecosystem health input to the 2016 Australian State of the Environment (SoE) report
- A gap analysis for national ecosystem health and Southeast marine reserve network monitoring in the Commonwealth Waters, including recommendations for how to mobilise national capacity to provide the required evidence/data.
Outputs from this theme depend critically on and are contingent upon, results from existing research in the Southeast Marine region, and results from new research in Supporting management of marine biodiversity theme (integrating social, economic and environmental values project) to assist definition of operational objectives for the Commonwealth South-east Marine Reserve Network.
Three outcomes of this theme will be:
- A considered understanding of the data requirements for managing a network of Commonwealth Marine Reserves including how to mobilise national capacity to provide the required data
- A considered understanding of the data requirements to evaluate and report on national marine ecosystem health including how to mobilise national capacity to provide the required data (especially with the Integrated Marine Observing System and National Plan for Environmental Information)
- Access to the relevant data analyses (within limits of existing data) to report on national-scale marine ecosystem health for input to the 2016 SoE report
Image: The RV Challenger prepares to leave Hobart on a Marine Biodiversity Hub voyage to trial environmental monitoring techniques in the Flinders Island Commonwealth Marine Reserve. (Image: CSIRO)