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.
Project leader: Ian Tuck, NIWA
What happens in Tasman and Golden Bays if…?
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 have developed and validated an ecosystem model using the Atlantis framework. The Atlantis model is a computer representation of the bays that can be used to mimic and help understand dynamics and flow-on effects. It includes everything in the ecosystem from sunlight and nutrients through to top predators and fisheries. This allows us to test different management or environmental scenarios to understand effects on the whole ecosystem. This Atlantis model is ready to use, so we are now developing appropriate scenarios to investigate.
These scenarios are being informed by consultation (through workshops) with Regional Councils, Māori, managers, and a range of stakeholders, to get an understanding of their concerns for the region’s marine environment, and the types of scenarios they would like to investigate.
We are also developing other food web and sizebased ecosystem models, and investigating ways to test and compare them to determine which are most appropriate and useful, and the level of complexity needed to answer different sorts of questions.
This work is linked with the Participatory tools project, which will use the models to determine the trade-offs that will result from different decisions.
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