The first component of this project is to identify the relevant risks and impacts from human activities and map their spatial distribution at the national scale. A significant amount of work has already been done to identify individual threats. The project will bring together existing data and information on key threats to marine biodiversity – CERF Marine Biodiversity Hub, Department of the Environment Marine Bioregional Planning, Department/CSIRO Marine Indicators Threat Mapping Project, fisheries risk assessment, NPEI, IMOS and NOIS – to provide a threat assessment that can be prioritised to meet the Department’s needs in implementing marine bioregional plans. Additional important threats including SST anomalies, marine debris and invasive species need quantification. There is no agreed method to quantify cumulative threats and impacts and this project will explore several methods, testing them against independent data to support the Department’s management of cumulative threats to marine biodiversity. Finally, improved methods for mapping cumulative threats will be used to provide threat and impact layers nationally.
The information from threats and impacts will be integrated with improved knowledge on socio-economic values from Project 1 and improved understanding of biodiversity assets from Theme 3 to support implementation of marine bioregional plans. The project will identify interactions between threats, biodiversity values and biodiversity assets and develop a geographic focus based on the Marine Bioregional Plans and in discussion with the Department. It will result in an improved understanding how information and analyses from a variety of sources (including other projects and themes in this Hub) can be integrated to support their decision making. A key priority for the task is to assemble the expertise in EBM, EBFM and spatial planning within the Hub and CSIRO to formulate options and opportunities that build on existing work.