Participatory tools

Plastic bag in ocean © Magnus Larsson, iStock

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

Project leader: Ross Vennell, Cawthron Institute

Duration: Apr 2016 – June 2019 
Budget: $580,000 
Status: Ongoing

We are developing interactive web-based applications that will help inform management and decision-making in the marine environment. These tools will potentially be used by regional councils, government policy-makers, iwi and commercial fisheries.  

The first tool we are developing shows how management decisions in the Tasman and Golden Bay region may affect the marine environment and influence the scallop fishery. It will help users understand how their management decisions could impact the productivity and quality of the marine environment. The application uses a ‘Bayesian Network’ to connect environmental management strategies with ecosystem properties. 

The second tool allows users to explore how the ocean and coast are connected by ocean flows. It is based on ocean modelling data. Online users will be able to drop virtual plastic into the ocean and discover where it will end up. We have data for the Cook Strait and Tasman-Golden Bays, which show how well areas within the region are connected. For example, plastic from Tasman Bay is predicted to end up on the Kapiti Coast after 15 days, with some passing through Cook Strait and reaching the Wairarapa Coast in 20 days.  

These web-based tools are currently undergoing testing and development and are expected to be available online in 2019.

Latest news and updates

Towards a stronger Kaikōura: a community event

Kaikōura community members gathered on 10 April to hear from National Science Challenge researchers who have been working in the area since the 2016 quake.

LEARNZ Sustainable Seas Virtual Field Trip for school students

Last week (4-8 March) the Sustainable Seas team were in Nelson on a LEARNZ virtual field trip.  Sustainable Seas researchers talked to students from over 100 schools around New Zealand about ecosystem-based management, kaitiakitanga of the marine environment, ecosystem services and tracking plastics in our oceans.  


Kāhui Māori welcomes new members

We are pleased to welcome Joe Harawira and Ian Ruru to the Sustainable Seas National Science Challenge Kāhui Māori.