1 July 2011 to 31 December 2014
Funding cycle: 
National Environmental Research Program

Whitetip Reef SharkThis theme will provide methods and tools to value marine biodiversity, identify threats and cumulative impacts, and evaluate and provide guidance on the effectiveness of management tools to meet conservation objectives in a multi-jurisdictional and multi-sectoral environment. Tools and options will be designed to add value to existing management processes; including implementing marine bioregional plans, monitoring the Southeast Marine Reserve Network, and assessing and managing listed species under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act. Our goal will be to provide scientific advice that can be used by conservation and resource management agencies, thus supporting a shared understanding of the environmental and economic values, and options for monitoring and management. An increased emphasis on performance based management will assist development of a shared understanding.

Ten outputs of this theme will be:

  1. An analysis of alternative approaches for monitoring biodiversity in Commonwealth waters based on scientific, economic, and logistical considerations (this is a joint output with National monitoring, evaluation and reporting theme - analysis of approaches for monitoring biodiversity in Commonwealth MPAs Project).
  2. Recommended performance indicators in the Commonwealth South East Marine Reserve Network;Seagrass.  Image CSIRO
  3. Recommended options for using incentives to increase stewardship of CMRs, especially in support of monitoring and compliance in multiple-use zones;
  4. Analysis of economic values of different stakeholders for marine biodiversity and habitats, at different scales to support decisions on approvals and other decision making.
  5. National maps/GIS layers of cumulative threat and impact and recommended methods to quantify cumulative threats and impacts to update maps
  6. Recommendations for integrating information and data on values, assets, threats and impacts to support decision making
  7. Analysis of strategies for management of chondrichthyans and benthic biodiversity
  8. Recommendations for improved guidelines for managing high conservation priority species on and off reserve and including identification of complementary arrangements between conservation and resource management agencies, particularly fisheries
  9. Analysis and recommendations on the application of new genetic techniques that have the potential to make it possible to assess rare and listed species more effectively and at a radically reduced cost
  10. Recommendations for management of freshwater sawfish in the Northern Australia supported by analyses to assess population status and distribution


Outputs from this theme depend critically on and are contingent upon, results from existing research in the South East Marine region, and results from new research on improved understanding of biodiversity assets from the National ecosystems knowledge theme and National monitoring, evaluation and reporting theme (project 2 - analysis of approaches to monitoring biodiversity).  Outputs also feed directly into developing a blue-print for a sustained monitoring strategy to help manage the Commonwealth Marine Reserve Network being developed under the National monitoring, evaluation and reporting theme

Three outcomes of this theme will be:

  1. A considered understanding of the evidence base for managing a network of Commonwealth Marine Reserves including options for building stewardship
  2. A considered understanding of the national evidence-base on cumulative threats and impacts
  3. A considered understanding of more efficient and cost effective approaches to managing EPBC Act listed species and other conservation values.


Related information



Whitetip Reef Shark, Triaenodon obesus. The Marine Biodiversity Hub is investigating management focused on at-risk species and biodiversity ‘hot-spots’. (Image: CSIRO)

Seagrass and migratory seabirds will be the focus of working groups set up by the Marine Biodiversity Hub to trial marine offsetting (Image: CSIRO).

A freshwater sawfish on the Daly River being released after tissue sampling for genetic analysis. The Marine Biodiversity Hub will provide the first estimate of population status for this and other shark and ray species. (Image:  Charles Darwin University)