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Regional classification of Tasmanian coastal waters

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Edgar, GJ and Moverley, J and Peters, D and Reed, C (1993) Regional classification of Tasmanian coastal waters. Technical Report. Parks and Wildlife, Tasmania, Tasmania.

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Abstract

Analysis of the distribution of reef plants and animals at over 150 sites around the
Tasmanian coastline and Bass Strait islands indicated that Bass Strait reef communities
were distinctly different from those occurring further south. This major division in reef
ecosystems reflected a boundary near Cape Grim and Little Musselroe Bay between two
biogeographical provinces. Each of the two bioprovinces was divisible into four
biogeographical regions (bioregions), which occurred along the northern Tasmanian coast
and at the Kent Group, Furneaux Group and King Island in Bass Strait, and along the
northeastern, southeastern, southern and western coasts of Tasmania. In contrast to these
patterns identified using data on coastal reef communities, regional classifications for
estuarine and soft-sediment faunas (based on the distribution of beach-washed shells and
beach-seined fishes) were less clearly defined.
In order to manage and protect Tasmanian inshore plants and animals in accordance with
the principle of ecologically sustainable development, an integrated system of
representative marine protected areas is considered a necessary adjunct to appropriate
regulations concerning individual marine species. The benefits of a marine reserve system
include (i) the provision of fish propagation areas, (ii) insurance against the possibility of
fishery stock collapses, (iii) the formation of areas where natural ecosystem processes can
be scientifically investigated, (iv) the maintenance of reservoirs of genetic diversity, (v)
the provision of recreational sites for divers and naturalists, and (vi) areas of focus for
public education about coastal life.
An integrated Tasmanian system of marine protected areas should include at least one
area within each bioregion extending for approximately 10 km of coast where plants and animals are
protected from exploitation. The recommended locations where representative marine
reserves should be declared are Maria Island, Port Arthur or Tinderbox, Port Davey,
Sloop Rocks or Point Hibbs, New Year Islands (King Island), the Kent Group, western
Franklin Sound (Flinders Island), Rocky Cape and Macquarie Island. Because no
Tasmanian marine reserve presently exists within the Bassian bioprovince, the immediate
priority is to declare a marine reserve in the Bass Strait region. The species diversity
protected within Tasmanian marine reserves will be maximised if that reserve is located
in the vicinity of Deal Island.
The identification and declaration of estuarine protected areas was not considered in the
present report but should also be addressed as a matter of urgency.

Item Type: Report (Technical Report)
Keywords: Marine Reserves Tasmanian Ecology Regional Classification
Publisher: Parks and Wildlife, Tasmania
Date Deposited: 03 Sep 2007
Last Modified: 18 Nov 2014 03:21
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