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  • 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.

  • 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 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.

  • This record provides an overview of the scope and research output of NESP Marine Biodiversity Hub Project A3 - "A national assessment of population status of White Sharks". For specific data outputs from this project, please see child records associated with this metadata. -------------------- White sharks are listed as Vulnerable under the EPBC Act and the subject of a national recovery plan, yet there is still no effective way to assess their population status and thus no way of determining the efficacy of conservation actions. Recent debate due to various human-shark interactions has highlighted the need for further information. This Project provides a national assessment of white shark population size and status in order to establish the efficacy of existing recovery actions and provide a scientifically sound and rational basis from which to develop policies that balance conservation objectives and public safety. Planed Outputs • Tools to refine and integrate CK-MR, electronic tagging distribution and species demographic data for population assessments of a key threatened species at a national scale (combining knowledge developed under this project combined with similar techniques being applied under NESP to euryhaline sharks and planned for grey nurse sharks). • National estimates of (census) population size and trend for white sharks in Australian waters (western and eastern populations respectively) are established that fulfil the highest priority actions of the National Recovery Plan. • New genetic and statistical tools trialled for the estimation of historical population trend from contemporary tissue samples for key species for which other methods of population assessment are unreliable or unavailable. • Provide information that identifies movement corridors, hotspots and contributes to management strategies for top-order marine predators • Estimate juvenile white shark survival and abundance for input into integrated national population assessment models in order to refine population estimates. • National-level information on habitat use, behaviour and spatial dynamics of white sharks at various scales used to provide the scientific underpinning for government decisions and policies as well as provide for more informed public debate. • Identify national strategies to monitor white shark populations. • The project will provide peer-reviewed additions to the scientific literature that will add to the science-support for the development and implementation of policies to support the ecologically sustainable management of Australia’s marine environment.

  • This record provides an overview of the scope and research output of NESP Marine Biodiversity Hub Project C1 - "Improving our understanding of pressures on the marine environment". For specific data outputs from this project, please see child records associated with this metadata. -------------------- The marine environment in Australia is influenced by a wide range of different pressures that impact on different parts of the marine ecosystem in different ways. This project aims to assist DoE, and other research users, to improve understanding of the potential impacts of anthropogenic disturbance to marine conservation values by providing up-to-date data and analyses on the spatial distribution of pressures and trends. The research is designed to inform decision making under the EPBC Act (acceptability of proposed activities, evaluation of effectiveness of mitigation measures) on NMES (including Key Ecological Features), implementation of multiple strategies in four Marine Bioregional Plans (i.e. strategies B, C, D and F), management of Commonwealth Marine Reserves (e.g. strategies 1 and 2 in the South-east Commonwealth Marine Reserve Network Management Plan 2013-23) and State of the Environment reporting. The project will involve a re-examination of the pressure analyses undertaken through the marine bioregional planning program and the 2011 SOE Report (marine chapter) and determine where pressure mapping can be improved to enhance those analyses (for instance for those pressures for which data deficiency was identified). It will also examine the strengths and weaknesses of the different pressure assessment methodologies used by both the MBP process and the SOE 2011 process and propose a methodology that can support both initiatives into the future. The project will provide pressures profiles for CMRs and will assist Parks Australia in understanding how pressures interact with the values they identify in CMRs. The project will also consider relative impact, and how spatial mapping can assist in understanding both relative and cumulative impact. As an adjunct to the cumulative impact investigation, the project will also investigate how changes in socio-economic valuing of conservation values may influence the degree of investment in understanding and management of cumulative impact. This particular work will further the risk-based approach to cumulative impact that was investigated under the NERP Hub. Planned Outputs • Produce description of summary of changes and trends in pressures on the commonwealth marine environment in the offshore marine environment from 1991 to 2010. • Production of inshore and offshore pressure summaries to inform SOE reporting (2011-2015) • Produce description of trends in pressures acting on the commonwealth marine environment (onshore & offshore) between 1991 & 2015, with refined summaries for all KEFs and CMRs. • Distribute pressure data and pressure data summaries through NPEI compliant data infrastructure. • Produce analysis and description of the likely future states (for example, climate (interannual and decadal), shipping, modification of fisheries activity, coastal eutrophication) • Re-evaluation of the pressure assessments published in the 2012 Marine Bioregional Plans , ensuring consistency of output, updating the profiles for all KEFs • Report on the changing socio-economic valuing of conservation values to the concept of acceptable impact, or acceptable risk of impact • Report on a risk based framework to manage the uncertainty information bases for different decision making requirements with example case

  • 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 Synthesis Study - "Interpreting pressure profiles". For specific data outputs from this project, please see child records associated with this metadata. -------------------- This project has two objectives: (i) provide a spatial explicit analysis of the relative risks posed to marine conservation values, as defined by the natural values hierarchy of Parks Australia's Monitoring, Evaluation, Reporting and Improvement (MERI) framework, by pressures that operate within Australia's Exclusive Economic Zone and state/territory waters (a "hotspot" analysis); and, (ii) provide a proof of concept of an adaptive, probabilistic assessment of the cumulative risks posed to these values, in a region determined to support the Parks Australia MERI project D7, in a manner that is consistent with the seascape-scale cumulative assessment described in the "Guidelines for analysis of cumulative impacts and risks to the Great Barrier Reef". Planned Outputs • National hotspot maps of risks posed to marine conservation values • Probabilistic assessment (written) of cumulative risks

  • This record describes a gridded map of ocean wind noise for Australian EEZ for a typical April-September period.

  • 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 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.