Abstract:

This report provides a progress update on the development of suitable metrics and datasets for State of the Environment (SoE) reporting and Ecosystem-Based Fisheries Management (EBFM) assessment based on Baited Remote Underwater Video stations (BRUVs). Initial work has focussed on facilitating the collation and cleaning/standardisation of an extensive range of BRUVs datasets held by research agencies around Australia. This stage has been undertaken as a collaboration with an AODN funded project to collate BRUV data and add it to the national database “Global Archive” that AODN are developing to enhance storage and analysis capabilities. While all available BRUV data has now been uploaded to Global Archive (www.globalarchive.org), nuances in the collection and annotation of data has provided considerable challenges for the standardisation necessary for analysis at the national level. Nevertheless, this process has been essential for identifying future minimum standards (standard operating protocols) we recommend in monitoring programs to ensure data generated is suitable for analysis at national, as well as local scales. The data collation has now been completed with a final “clean” dataset of 18,568 deployments now ready for trialling of potential SoE metrics. In addition to data collection and cleaning, scoping of potential metrics has also been completed, with 44 metrics identified, covering fisheries, ocean warming, community-level and life history based metrics (discussed with the BRUV research communities in workshops in WA in July 2017 and February 2018). Identification of potential covariates for spatial analysis of these metrics has also been completed (and discussed at the workshops above), with the subsequent collation and generation of spatially located (i.e. at drop level) data for 189 covariates, which are now stored in a single geodatabase. Covariates were selected based on their ability to represent human pressures (e.g. distance to township or boat ramp), habitat (e.g. distance to reef), climate (e.g. changes in sea surface temperature) and protection (e.g. distance to marine protected area). Initial trialling of effective reporting metrics is currently underway, with some elucidating key protection effects on fish communities (e.g. biomass of targeted species >20 cm).

In addition, as a part of the NCRIS funding for the Global Archive Marine RDC project, work is currently underway to turn the SoE metrics into a reporting app that will link directly with Global Archive and enable end-users to interactively explore SoE/EBFM metrics. A meeting/workshop on this SoE reporting app is being scheduled for August 2018 in Hobart.

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