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Mapping of inshore marine habitats in South-Eastern Tasmania for marine protected area planning and marine management


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Barrett, NS, Sanderson, JC, Lawler, MM, Halley, V and Jordan, AR 2001 , Mapping of inshore marine habitats in South-Eastern Tasmania for marine protected area planning and marine management.

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A National System of Marine Protected Areas (NRSMPA) is currently being
established in Australia with the collaboration of governments at the State and Federal
level. In Tasmania this policy is articulated in the State Marine Protected Area Strategy
(MMIC 2001) that recognises the need for a Comprehensive, Adequate and
Representative (CAR) system of MPAs for State waters. The State and Commonwealth
MPA implementation strategies each recognise that for MPAs to be established on a
CAR basis, a thorough inventory of marine habitats is needed to ensure areas selected
are appropriate.
This study presents the first such inventory for Tasmanian waters, with detailed
mapping of marine habitats within the Bruny Bioregion. The study had two objectives,
to map the marine habitats in the Bruny Bioregion and to use this information to
identify candidate MPAs that fulfil CAR requirements. While Tasmanian waters
include nine bioregions, the Bruny region was identified as a priority for mapping due
to its high degree of marine endemism, high habitat diversity and the more urgent need
for protection given the high population density of the region in close association with
the capital city, Hobart.
Maps were produced at a scale of 1:25,000, showing the principal habitat types in
shallow inshore coastal waters to the 40 m depth contour. The production of maps
involved extensive field surveys of the region from small vessels equipped with colour
sounders and differential GPS. Position, depth and bottom type were continuously
logged in real time using a computer application developed for this task. Regular video
drops were conducted to validate interpretation of sounder signals. Aerial photographs
were scanned and rectified to provide more detailed information on habitats in inshore
areas where water clarity allowed. For most of the coast the utility of aerial
photographs was limited to a depth of ten metres. The information was collated and
mapped using the GIS application ArcView, allowing detailed analysis of habitat
distribution by depth and exposure.
The habitat maps were then used to suggest a number of potential MPA locations that
would protect a comprehensive range of marine habitats within this bioregion.
Sufficient information is also available for discussion of alternative MPA options as
part of stakeholder negotiations during the implementation of the Tasmanian Marine
Protected Area Strategy (2001).

Item Type: Report (Technical Report)
Authors/Creators:Barrett, NS and Sanderson, JC and Lawler, MM and Halley, V and Jordan, AR
Publisher: Tasmanian Aquaculture and Fisheries Institute
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