This record provides an overview of the scope and research output of NESP Marine Biodiversity Hub Project D3 - "Implementing monitoring of AMPs and the status of marine biodiversity assets on the continental shelf". For specific data outputs from this project, please see child records associated with this metadata.
There is a significant need to support Parks Australia in the establishment of an inventory and monitoring program for Australian Marine Park (AMP) networks, and ensure it is integrated within broader national monitoring frameworks.
The first part of this project provided a national collation all known mapping data from government and industry (including data acquired during CERF and NERP Hubs) to improve understanding of the distribution and extent of this key habitat around Australia, and to identify critical gaps in this knowledge to be filled by targeted surveys. This significantly improved understanding of KEF boundaries and conservation values or assets within Commonwealth Marine Reserves on Australia’s continental shelf. A classification system was developed for these reefs, and matched with refinement of inventory and monitoring approaches to track reef health through time, including standard approaches to SOE understanding and reporting consistent with measures developed for coastal systems within NESP (i.e. see project C2). This also involved collation of all mapping data on non-reef hard substrate, and all non-reef soft substrate, with this information also being available as a significant output.
The second part of this project initiates a series of surveys, utilising standard operating procedures (SOPs), to demonstrate a sustainable path for a national survey program. By facilitating national approaches, including a standards-based approach to collecting new marine data, project outcomes will include key steps to assist Parks Australia to implement and initiate an AMP monitoring program, new knowledge to inform AMP management, a national integrated framework for State of Environment (SOE) reporting, and collaboration between State-based and Commonwealth-based programs.
• National-scale map of the distribution and extent of reef/non-reef habitat on the Aus continental shelf
• Collation of all available mapping data for the Aus continental shelf
• Detailed reports specific to each AMP survey, including a plain English summary
• Survey data stored in national databases and portals
• New multibeam mapping data from AMP survey areas and adjacent waters
• New data on benthic invertebrate cover obtained from AUV imagery surveys
• New data on benthic fish abundance obtained by BRUV surveys
Maintenance and Update Frequency: asNeeded
Neville Barrett (UTAS), Vanessa Lucieer (UTAS), Rick Porter-Smith (UTAS), Scott Nichol (Geoscience Australia), Tara Martin (CSIRO), Zhi Huang (Geoscience Australia), Johnathan Kool (Geoscience Australia), Peter Davies (NSW OEH), Tim Ingleton (NSW OEH), Alan Jordan (NSW DPI), Phil Bouchet (UWA), Jessica Meeuwig (UWA), Julian Caley (AIMS)
National Environmental Science Program (NESP) Marine Biodiversity Hub
Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment (DAWE), Australian Government
In addition to NESP (DoE) funding, this project is matched by an equivalent amount of in-kind support and co-investment from project partners and collaborators.
This project will improve our understanding of the characteristics and distribution of these key habitats nationally and provide a spatial basis to understand the impacts of, and recovery from, fishing pressure. In year one, it will provide an updated national map of the distribution of reef features on the shelf, and a geomorphological classification of reef types to aid in structuring monitoring programs and explaining spatial patterns in biodiversity. This will be facilitated through collation of all existing mapping information and associated biological values from Hub partners (including data acquired during CERF and NERP Hub research), stakeholders, including government and industry, in addition to a priority survey in NSW to identify the key reef features associated with the Hunter CMR in NSW. Despite the focus on collating knowledge on reef distribution, by default, the project will also collate existing knowledge on non-reef hard substrate and non-reef soft substrates, thus providing the building blocks for expanded knowledge on all marine habitats in shelf waters.
Through these approaches to improved assessment and prioritisation of knowledge gaps, this project will focus on planning further targeted surveys in 2017 and onwards, in consultation with the Department and stakeholders. These gap filling surveys will be undertaken with methods developed and refined within the NERP Hub, and the NESP SOP project, and will be guided by the National Monitoring Blueprint. This new knowledge will allow refinement of KEF maps and understanding of CMR values through infilling critical regional gaps in our understanding. It will also allow refinement of approaches for monitoring the status and trends of key coastal and marine species and environments within reef systems, with programs and tools tailored to suit the reporting and management needs of all agencies involved in biodiversity conservation. This would inform both CMR management and decisions undertaken within Marine Bioregional Plans. By providing the detailed spatial information on habitats and ecosystems it will allow refinement of Key Ecological Feature models at bioregional scales, information necessary to evaluate the pressures on shelf reef systems associated with activities including resource use, marine pollution, biosecurity, and climate change.