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Australian Institute of Marine Science (AIMS)

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  • This record provides an overview of the scope and research output of NESP Marine Biodiversity Hub Project A11 - "Shark action plan". -------------------- Conservation of elasmobranch species (sharks and rays) is an increasing priority globally, including Australia, as evidence of overexploitation of some species becomes apparent. Common issues and threats among elasmobranch species may improve management if considered holistically. This project will produce a Shark Action Plan assessing requirements for improved management including a summary of current status across the taxa, guidelines for reducing impacts and improving management, and identification of key knowledge gaps impeding conservation and management. This Plan will help guide policy for Australian elasmobranchs developed by DoEE and fishery managers. On-ground conservation will be developed from recommendations in this plan. Planned Outputs • Shark Action Plan relevant to management of Australian elasmobranchs including an assessment of current threats, prioritised conservation and management actions for at-risk species and guidance on future management and data needs • Integrated Conservation Advices for multiple species with similar threats • Significant Impact Guidelines for Australian elasmobranchs • Discussion paper outlining a framework for how to apply conservation strategies for fished (Conservation Dependent) species • Presentation of results to key stakeholders and end users • Manuscripts for scientific journals outlining the results of project components (eg, Conservation Dependent species framework)

  • Sea snake sightings from Baited Remote Underwater Video Stations deployed by the Australian Institute of Marine Science were used to predict locations that are likely important habitats for sea snake populations within the North West Marine Region (NWMR). Presence/Absence of sea snakes were modelled with environmental parameters using Gradient Boosted Regression Tree model to predict habitat suitability within the 1000 m depth contour along the NWMR. This output is a result of work conducted as part of the NESP Marine Hub Project A8- 'Exploring the status of Western Australia's sea snakes'. See project page for more details and updates: https://www.nespmarine.edu.au/project/project-a8-exploring-status-western-australian-sea-snakes

  • Meta data of all tagged hammerhead sharks detailing tag dates, locations, and shark biological details.

  • Of the ~80 EPBC-listed Threatened and Migratory marine species known to occur in the North Marine Bioregion, 16 were identified as priority species through consultation with research end-users and experts. The priority group consisted of three sawfishes, two river sharks, Dugong, two inshore dolphins, six shorebirds and two turtles. Dwarf and then Green Sawfish had the most data gaps, indicating that these were the most poorly-known of the selected priority species in the North Marine Bioregion, and as such are a priority for research. These were followed (in order of data gaps) by the other river sharks and sawfishes, inshore dolphins, Hawksbill Turtle, Dugong, Olive Ridley Turtle, and shorebirds. Research assessing the relevance and impact of pressures was identified as a gap for all species. New data identified during the project can fill data gaps for all 16 species, and the analysis of these datasets can improve the accuracy of distribution maps, but new data collection is still required for all sharks and sawfishes, Hawksbill Turtle, and inshore dolphins to improve data coverage for distribution modelling and mapping. The gap analysis identified numerous new datasets, both published and unpublished, that are currently not incorporated into SPRAT profiles and distributions (see Table 5). This provided an opportunity to begin compiling and analysing this information to fill current data gaps, as well as identify targeted research needs for the future.