Designing a targeted monitoring program to support evidence-based management of Australian Marine Parks A pilot in the South-east Marine Park Network
To inform the development of a Monitoring, Evaluation, Reporting and Improvement (MERI) framework for the Australian Marine Park (AMP) estate, the Marine Biodiversity Hub has led a collaborative project with Parks Australia to move from the scoping and planning stages of the adaptive management cycle to the do, evaluate, report and improve stages. This involved defining a common language across natural values, socio-economic and cultural benefits, anthropogenic pressures and key drivers. A vulnerability assessment was undertaken across the South-east marine region, with cumulative impacts providing the basis for a monitoring prioritisation in this region. Monitoring questions and high-level indicators were then developed for ecosystems identified as priorities, which were also informed by ecosystem conceptual models. This report documents the outcomes of this evaluation process, and provides the framework for applying this across other AMP network regions and the Coral Sea.
Rocky reefs form an important habitat on Australia’s continental shelf and are recognised in marine bioregional plans as key ecological features (KEFs) that support a range of benthic and pelagic marine communities, including migratory species.