This record provides an overview of the scope and research output of NESP Marine Biodiversity Hub Project D2 - "Standard
Operating Procedures (SOPs) for survey design, condition assessment and trend detection". There are no data outputs anticipated
for this project.
Understanding of the status and trends of indicators in Australia’s marine environment requires standardised monitoring,
without which monitoring is unlikely to be comparable through time and space – status and trends are unlikely to be available.
This project will build on the monitoring blueprint by providing foundation for Standard Operating Procedures in the collection
and analysis of monitoring data. In particular, the project will 1) provide some delineation of what kind of monitoring is
required (and when), 2) providing a simple tool for designing surveys in space that also analyses the resulting data, and
3) provide a worked end-to-end SOP example for a baited underwater video for collection of data in benthic key ecological
features (including recommendations for field protocols to ensure ecological relevance).
• Standard Operating Protocol (SOPs) for deploying observation platforms, processing raw data and then analysing processed
data for a set of ‘no regrets’ objectives. This includes clear recommendations about how to choose sampling locations and
how to analyse the resulting survey data.
• A piece of software (an R package) that implements spatially balanced designs. The software will require a minimal skill
• A worked example, from a partner project, that will form the template for future surveys.
• Scientific publications, which will be made publicly and freely available within 12 months of publication.
This project aims to provide the foundation for Standard Operating Procedures in the collection and analysis of monitoring
data for (at least in the first two years) a limited set of “no-regrets” objectives by: 1) providing a simple tool for designing
surveys in space, and 2) providing a core set of analysis methods, tailored to specific survey methods, that should be
undertaken as a routine part of the monitoring process. A putative set of objectives will be developed in collaboration
with the Hub projects D1 and D3, which both have survey aspects that will benefit from the tools developed within this project.
This putative set will be refined with input from the DoE.
If the design tool is used and analysis techniques are followed, then management authorities and industry consultants will
be provided with concise, consistent, interpretable and fit-for-purpose evidence on the status and trends of environmental
The project will identify the gear deployment (design), data scoring (processing) and statistical methods (analysis) that
support evidence based decision-making and evaluation of the empirical evidence with respect to management benchmarks. Further,
due to the standardisation of these methods, the information will be comparable from one project to the next. This establishment
of clear design and analytic guidelines will provide the foundation for Standard Operating Procedures designed to support
the Department’s management and monitoring requirements in the CMA.