What could ecosystem-based management look like in Tasman and Golden Bays?

View of Okiwi Bay, Marlborough Sounds. © Leigh Tait, NIWA

We are investigating how to successfully put ecosystem-based management (EBM) into practice in Aotearoa New Zealand’s marine environment. 

Project leader: Judi Hewitt, NIWA

Duration: July 2017 – June 2019 
Budget: $400,000 
Status: Ongoing 

We are applying the knowledge, tools and processes from other Sustainable Seas Challenge projects to a case study focused on the health of the seafloor in Tasman and Golden Bays.  

We are working with researchers in the Managed Seas Programme, to trial several modelling tools which will help us predict how animals and plants living on the seafloor respond to different management scenarios. We are exploring which tools are easy to use by non-modellers and provide the best information to make management decisions.  

We will trial a decision-making framework which includes non-monetary values, such as social, cultural or ecological values. We will also trial the use of system mapping in EBM for the marine environment. This will help build shared understandings of how financial, social, management, environment and ecology connect.  

Finally, we will use SeaSketch (a collaborative marine planning tool) to store information about the Bays and use it, the models and the system mapping approach to identify knowledge and relationship gaps and prioritise them for future work. Councils, central government agencies, universities and Crown Research Institutes will then be able to use our findings to inform and prioritise science research strategies.

Latest news and updates

Interview: Stew Robertson, Abel Tasman Ecotours/Tasman Bay Guardians

Stew Robertson has been a participant in research workshops for projects focused in Tasman-Golden Bay. He is involved with the Nelson Biodiversity Forum and founded the Tasman Bay Guardians in 2017.

Understanding food webs to help manage coastal resources

A study of coastal food webs has revealed how ecosystem-based approaches to marine management could improve management of fish stocks and biodiversity in our changing coastal ocean.

Sharing our latest sedimentation science

In a workshop hosted in Wellington in early May, NIWA and Victoria University of Wellington researchers shared their latest findings on the effects of sediment on both shallow water and deep-sea species with iwi and stakeholders.