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 – September 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

'Toolkit' for managing cumulative effects

The latest Resource Management Journal is a special issue about our collaborative research into how management of cumulative effects (CE) can be improved. It includes a suite of co-developed recommendations and guidance regarding how to progress work on CE management in Aotearoa.

Tracking the transport of ocean trash

A web-based interactive tool tracks how floating plastic waste moves around New Zealand's coastline. Initially designed as an educational tool for schools, the Ocean Plastic Simulator also has potential for environmental and biosecurity monitoring, and aquaculture.

Blue Economy theme: co-development and funding update

If you're interested in being involved in co-developing our core research projects and/or want notifications about our Innovation Fund then email sustainableseasNC@niwa.co.nz