Managed Seas

A marine chart of New Zealand and surrounding water

Using the knowledge generated by the Challenge to develop innovative and effective tools that support decision-makers and enable ecosystem-based management (EBM)


We are developing simulation models for the Tasman and Golden Bays area to test what is likely to happen to marine ecosystems under different scenarios. This enables managers, Māori and other stakeholders to explore ‘What if?’ questions, and consider the implications of potential management decisions.

We are developing a decision support tool that enables Māori and stakeholders to interact with the scientific findings of the Atlantis ecosystem model – a system that mimics how groups of marine organisms interact with each other, their physical environment and humans.

The aim of this project is to develop a framework that helps us decide how to best share marine space. We are using spatial data (data with geographical coordinates) to model trade-offs between different resource uses, objectives, and Māori and stakeholder values, and their impacts on biodiversity and ecosystem health

Our waters support the greatest diversity of seabirds on Earth, but defining where birds are and in what numbers can be extremely expensive. We are investigating whether relative environmental suitability (RES) models could produce sufficiently accurate estimates of seasonal seabird distributions, at a much lower cost than boat-based observations.

Novel risk assessment tools for ecosystem-based management

This project will review new methods to inform risk management for novel marine activities, cumulative threats from multiple stressors, and tipping points. In particular, we want to enable stakeholders to participate in developing plausible threat scenarios and risk models, to support decision-making.

Latest news and updates

Job opportunity: Senior Communications Advisor (1.0 FTE)

We're looking for a great all-rounder who's interested in using their exceptional science communications and outreach skills to help tackle a critical environmental science challenge facing the nation.

Job opportunity: Challenge Manager (0.5 FTE)

Looking for an exciting opportunity to apply your scientific background and management abilities to a critical environmental science challenge facing the nation?

Video: How current legislative frameworks in NZ enable EBM

Lara Taylor and Tania Te Whenua gave this presentation at the NZ Coastal Society conference.  This research is part of the 'Ecosystem-based management (EBM) within NZ's existing legislative framework' project, which is developing a better understanding of the opportunities and constraints offered by current legislation and decision-making processes.