This project focuses on integrated management solutions to key threatened groups and habitats, including on and off reserve management. It comprises 2 tasks focused at a range of landscape scales to deliver improved management arrangements to address high priority conservation values identified under the EPBC Act.
Task 1: Supporting management of high conservation priority species: This task will develop new approaches to manage high conservation priority species at a landscape scale in a multi-jurisdictional and multi-sectoral environment. A significant fraction of Australia's chondrichthyan fauna is at risk from a variety of human uses, particularly fishing. The group contains many slow-growing vulnerable species, including some of high concern to the Marine Division, so this group provides a good test case for developing these methods. Landscape approaches to management have been identified as a primary tool for protection, but chondrichthyans are widely distributed and cannot be fully protected in all parts of their range. The task will identify and test strategies for supporting management of chondrichthyans both on and off reserve. What combination of spatial and other management strategies can best protect this group, including more mobile species, while maintaining access for ocean users? This issue will be addressed at national and regional scales. Delivery outputs will include recommendations for improved guidelines for managing high conservation priority species on and off reserve and will seek to identify complementary arrangements between conservation and resource management agencies, particularly fisheries.
Task 2: Supporting management of marine benthic biodiversity: Considerable information has now accumulated on benthic biodiversity and human uses that interact with the seabed, including detailed maps in some regions. It is known that some uses are a potential threat to benthic biodiversity, but it is not known how these threats may interact. What combination of spatial and other management strategies can protect benthic biodiversity while maintaining access for ocean users now and in the future? This task has strong links to biodiversity valuation in Project 1 of Supporting Management of Marine Biodiversity, and monitoring in National Monitoring, Evaluation and Reporting. The landscape approach being taken will also lead to complementary and competing management options with Task 1 that will need to be resolved as part of these tasks.