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  • Map of cumulative sound exposure from shipping in the GBR for winter 2015 (June-September).

  • This record provides an overview of the scope and research output of NESP Marine Biodiversity Hub Project A4 - "The status of human-shark interactions and initiatives to mitigate risk in Australia". For specific data outputs from this project, please see child records associated with this metadata. -------------------- Considerable political, public and media attention has recently been focussed on human-shark interactions, specifically surrounding shark attack and ways to mitigate this risk. Finding the most appropriate policy balance between conservation of sharks, maximising public safety and understanding the broader social and economic ramifications/drivers for doing so is a continuing challenge for Government. This project will review the status of human-shark interactions in Australia, provide a synthesis of current initiatives to reduce risk, review recent international efforts to address these issues and identify knowledge gaps to provide an informed base for determining the most appropriate future research and policy support. The project will develop a background document that: • Provides a synthesis of the current state of knowledge of shark-human interactions in Australia, focussing specifically on species such as white sharks, bull sharks and tiger sharks • Identifies what initiatives are currently underway nationally to address human-shark interactions including the status of current research as well as current management and policy initiatives. • Identifies technological developments within Australia and internationally in this space • Identifies lessons and experiences from these initiatives • Identifies issues and knowledge gaps • Provides guidance to the Department regarding further investment that is cognisant of State Government initiatives and requirements and ensure a coordinated national knowledge base for addressing these issues

  • This record provides an overview of the scope and research output of NESP Marine Biodiversity Hub Project C5 - "Quantification of risk from shipping to large marine fauna across Australia". For specific data outputs from this project, please see child records associated with this metadata. -------------------- Given the substantial increases in coastal/port development along the Australian coastline, and associated increase in recreational and commercial shipping, there is an increasing potential for adverse interactions with marine species. Two risks associated with these activities for large marine fauna are ship collisions and the impact of chronic ocean noise. Research is urgently needed to quantify these risks in both a spatial and temporal context to help develop and implement appropriate management strategies. This project aims to provide directed science (species- and area-specific) to inform decision-making by the Department of Environment in its application of the EPBC Act. Planned Outputs • Initial scoping report of ship strike risk summarising what is currently known about species that were tentatively nominated as being at-risk for ship strike, the data available, shipping size/type data needed and recommendations on what species to investigate further with a qualitative ranking from easiest to most difficult. • AIS data base for the Australian EZ and initial processing protocols. • Full Australia-wide fine-scale shipping density and average speed maps for 2012 – present including information such as vessel length, beam and draft. This data will directly feed into future noise mapping. • A national map of approximate density of small vessel distribution based on available proxies such as population density, boat registration data and boat ramp locations. • A suite of distribution and density surfaces for the various species nominated during Phase 1; • Spatial and temporal risk profiles for selected species. The risk maps will range from full fine-scale maps when data is present, to coarse-scale ‘regions of concern’ for species where distribution data is limited to approximate extent. • An updated version of a database of ship strikes (historical and recent) within the Australian EEZ Report on national ship strike risk to the limits of current data and knowledge. • Report on our ship strike risk methodological developments • Report on initial shipping noise mapping • Report on the recommendations and findings of the 2017 workshop on chronic noise in the marine environment.

  • This project quantified underwater noise from ships in Australian waters, with the ultimate goal of guiding the management of noise impacts on marine fauna. This record describes a gridded map of cumulative sound exposure from shipping in the Australian EEZ for a typical April-September period.

  • This record provides an overview of the scope and research data outputs of NESP Marine Biodiversity Hub Project E4 - "Recreational fishing in Commonwealth waters". For specific data outputs from this project, please see child records associated with this metadata. -------------------- Recent assessment have suggested that Australian marine recreational fishers (MRF) are moving further offshore in pursuit of fishing opportunities, which places them in areas managed by the Australian Government. As recreational fishers are key stakeholders in marine management, of MRF effort, catch, motivations and values are required to effectively inform administration of Australian Marine Parks (AMPs) and fisheries. In 2018 the use of exiting MRF state-wide assessment was trialled in WA and NSW to quantify fishing within the Hunter and Ningaloo AMPs. In 2019 this work will be extended to analyse state charter-boat MRF datasets with a particular emphasis on our selected AMPs and the Perth Canyon AMP. Planned Outputs • State of knowledge and gap analysis of recreational fishing in Commonwealth waters (spatial data) • On ground motivation and targets by active fishers of AMP [report]

  • This record provides an overview of the scope and research output of NESP Marine Biodiversity Hub Project A2 - "Quantification of national ship strike risk". This project has been superseded by NESP Marine Biodiversity Hub Project C5 - "Quantification of risk from shipping to large marine fauna across Australia" (see link in Distribution and On-Line Resources section of this record). -------------------- Given Australian coastal development, and associated increases in shipping, ship collisions with marine fauna (specifically marine mammals and turtles) is of increasing concern. Tools and research are needed to spatially quantify the risk of ship strike to help develop management strategies. This work will use shipping density/speed data from the recent past, in parallel with species distribution/habitat models, to produce relative risk maps that can be used to identify areas and times where there is co-occurrence of at-risk marine fauna and shipping. From these maps, strategies (such as speed reduction zones/times) could be implemented to minimise the impact of vessel strike on marine fauna. Planned Outputs • Initial scoping report of ship strike risk, summarising what is currently known on at-risk species, the data available, shipping size/type data needed and providing recommendations on what species to investigate ranked from easiest to most difficult; • Identification of data deficiencies; • Full Australia-wide fine-scale shipping density and average speed maps for 2012 – present; • A suite of distribution information/maps for the various species investigated; • Risk map for selected species. With individual species, results delivered during the life of the project. The risk maps will range from full fine-scale maps when data is present, to coarse-scale ‘regions of concern’ for species where distribution data is limited to approximate extent.

  • 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). Planned Outputs • 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 level. • 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 record provides an overview of the scope and research output of NESP Marine Biodiversity Hub Project B2 - "Analysis and elicitation to support State of the Environment reporting for the full spectrum of data availability". No data outputs are expected for this project. -------------------- The availability and quality of observation data that may be used to support State of the Environment reporting lies on a spectrum from: (i) high quality (e.g. Reef Life Survey, Long term reef monitoring programme, Temperate Reef Monitoring programme, state-based MPA monitoring programmes); (ii) moderate quality (e.g. continuous plankton recorder, occasional by catch surveys); (iii) low quality (anecdotal information) to (iv) expert beliefs but no empirical observations. We currently lack a principled process for utilising and merging data of varying quality and from different sources to form a national perspective to support State of the Environment reporting. The key unifying principle to support such a process is the extent to which the available data is representative of the environmental asset in question. As the extent to which the empirical observations accurately represent the state of the asset in both space and time diminishes, so the reliance on expert opinion increases, to the limit where the only available information is expert opinion. This project will provide an over-arching framework to consider these issues, develop practical protocols for blending different data streams with or without experts’ judgement as appropriate, and thereby provide a foundation for improving State of Environment reporting for all types of data sources, from high to low quality. It will do this by developing and applying protocols to support development of the marine chapter of SoE 2106. This currently being developed within a separate CSIRO funded project. The project will use the experience of developing this chapter to make recommendations about appropriate methodologies for future environmental reporting. Importantly the statistical approach and analysis principles will be consistent regardless of the amount or quality of the information available. As a result the framework and analysis methods will remain relevant, even as the quality and quantity of environmental data at the department’s disposal changes. This will provide the consistency of analysis and reporting that is essential to SoE. Expected Outcomes • The provision of two or three examples that demonstrate a unified approach to the use of expert opinion in SoE reporting. These examples will be identified in close collaboration with the Department and will be developed in time to support the marine chapter of 2016 State of the Environment report, contingent on the availability of resources in the second year of the project and timely interaction with the department. • Assessments of the status and trends of environmental assets in the State of the Environment report will be based on a principled and statistically defensible process that can merges and utilises data from all sources including expert opinion.

  • This record provides an overview of the scope and research data outputs of NESP Marine Biodiversity Hub Project E2 - "Characterising anthropogenic underwater noise to improve understanding and management of acoustic impacts to marine wildlife". For specific data outputs from this project, please see child records associated with this metadata. -------------------- Shipping noise is a marine pollutant that contributes significantly to the marine soundscape and is a stressor of marine animals, particularly marine mammals. In Australia, the characterisation and actual impacts of shipping noise on species behaviour are not clearly understood and information is needed. This research will provide quantitative spatial and temporal maps of shipping noise to inform on noise exposure and impacts to MNES within the EEZ and in WHA’s. The outputs will provide key information to marine management agencies such as DoEE, AMSA and GBRMPA to help them meet responsibilities and obligations under international and national law and policy to minimise the impacts of shipping noise on MNES. Planned Outputs • A suite of maps of chronic shipping noise for key areas and species of concern, identifying key management areas and gross polluters. • A database of ship source spectra for predominant large vessels • A paper on improved methods or ambient noise estimation • Report on the quantification of shipping noise on Matters of National Environmental Significance • Final report on the characterisation of shipping noise in Australia

  • This record provides an overview of the scope and research output of NESP Marine Biodiversity Hub Project A10 - "Conservation of handfish and their habitat". For specific data outputs from this project, please see child records associated with this metadata. -------------------- Spotted and red handfish are critically endangered. Prior to 2019, this project commenced a scientifically robust monitoring program to track conservation trajectories and performance of recovery plan actions across all known sub-populations of Spotted Handfish. An innovative geo-reference photographic method provided both capture-mark-recapture information and sub-population fish densities as a proxy for abundance. Collecting this data was a crucial first step for a future project of targeted placement of artificial spawning habitat (ASH) and to determine minimum population size to inform sustainable capture of brood-stock for captive breeding. From 2019-2020, the project was extended to include Red Handfish. In accordance with the signed Handfish Recovery Plan, this project will conserve Red and Spotted Handfish through various direct conservation actions guided by research. This includes replanting of the degraded plastic artificial spawning habitats (ASH) with a re-designed array of ceramic units, assessment of taut eco-friendly moorings in critical spotted handfish habitat, genetic and capture mark recapture studies for both species, a population viability analysis (PVA) and performance assessment of management actions. The project will also continue a captive breeding project with industry, and engage with the broader community through talks, outreach and publications and re-establishment of the handfish recovery team.