Managed Seas

Tangaroa voyage to the Campbell Plateau Moorings. © Sarah Searson, NIWA

We are developing and trialling tools that will support ecosystem-based management (EBM) by helping decision-makers and interested groups understand how management decisions will affect marine environments.

Programme leader: Chris Cornelisen, Cawthron Institute

We are developing and trialling tools that will support ecosystem-based management (EBM) by helping decision-makers and interested groups understand how management decisions will affect marine environments. These tools will also help us understand the impacts of changing environmental conditions associated with marine activities and climate change.

Our research includes developing ecosystem models to enable decision-makers to weigh up ‘what if’ scenarios; spatial models to explore trade-offs between different resource uses; novel risk assessment tools and frameworks that incorporate mātauranga Māori; and software applications for encouraging participation. All these tools are being designed to support decision-making in the marine environment.  

We are working across the Challenge programmes to develop these tools, and liaising with government agencies, Māori, community and stakeholder organisations, institutions, and industry representatives in Tasman and Golden Bays to ensure the tools are fit for purpose. They have provided insights and guidance that are helping us refine the tools and build future scenarios. 

We are:  

  • Developing models for improving management of marine resources in Tasman and Golden Bays. 
  • Developing spatial models for managing disturbance and recovery of seafloor communities. 
  • Identifying novel risk assessment tools and frameworks that incorporate mātauranga Māori and support EBM. 
  • Providing software applications for engaging the public with knowledge that the Challenge is generating. 

Projects  

Ecosystem models

We are developing simulation models for the Tasman and Golden Bays marine ecosystem to test what is likely to happen in different scenarios. 
 

Spatially-explicit decision support tools

We are developing tools to help decision-makers explore how best to use and share marine spaces.  
 

Novel risk assessment tools for ecosystem-based management

We are reviewing new methods to help assess and manage risks to Aotearoa New Zealand’s marine ecosystems.
 

Participatory tools

We are developing web-based tools to enable New Zealanders to interact with and use knowledge generated by the Sustainable Seas Challenge. 
 

Defining marine habitat use by seabirds

We are investigating whether a range of different mathematical models accurately reflect seasonal seabird distributions in Aotearoa New Zealand waters.

  

Latest news and updates

Minister announces Phase II funding

The Minister of Research, Science and Innovation has today announced the Sustainable Seas National Science Challenge will receive $39.8 million for the second five-year phase of the Challenge.  Funding will start on 1 July 2019.

Strengthening international research links

Challenge researchers are strengthening links with Canadian research programmes involved in ocean conservation, climate change, and social and economic development of marine environments.

Marlborough students promoting marine protection

In mid-October, Challenge researchers met a pioneering group of students from Marlborough Girls’ College to celebrate their efforts in environmental sustainability and invite them to attend the upcoming Sustainable Seas Annual Conference.