A picture of a marina development.

Integrated marine and coastal assessment and management

Testing the waters for the many users of Australia's marine living resources and ecosystems.

  • 7 February 2011 | Updated 14 October 2011

CSIRO Marine and Atmospheric Research (CMAR) have diverse skills in integrated marine and coastal assessment and management.

Scientists involved in this research are based at CMAR laboratories in Hobart (Tasmania) Brisbane (Queensland) and Floreat (Western Australia).

Scientists develop and apply approaches for assessing marine resources such as rapid assessment through to whole-of-system modelling and provide advice for the conservation and management of coastal and marine resources and biodiversity.

They assess the status and productivity of fishery stocks and other marine species, as well as habitats, communities (biological and human) and ecosystems, and assess the impacts of human activities and climate change.

They are the primary providers of management advice to Australian government fisheries and also provide advice to a range of other marine industries and resource managers on matters relating to biodiversity conservation and sustainable production.

Pioneering approaches to ecosystem-based fisheries management developed by CMAR scientists have transformed the Commonwealth fisheries and been adopted internationally as the benchmark for modern fisheries management.

For example, stock assessment and management advice is provided to the Australian Fisheries Management Authority, and to regional fisheries management organisations such as the Commission for the Conservation of Southern Bluefin Tuna and Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission.

The advice relates to fisheries stocks in:

  • waters of Australia's temperate south-eastern shelf
  • deep-water and sub-Antarctic fisheries
  • tropical northern prawn and eastern Torres Strait fisheries
  • tuna and billfish fisheries in the tropics, Western Pacific and Indian oceans.

Pioneering approaches to ecosystem-based fisheries management developed by CMAR scientists have transformed the Commonwealth fisheries and been adopted internationally as the benchmark for modern fisheries management.

Ecosystem and ocean connectivity models (Atlantis and CONNIE) are used nationally and internationally to identify and test management strategies for coastal development, fisheries, marine conservation and climate impacts.

Modelling work for the North-West Shelf and Ningaloo regions of Western Australia have tackled the multiple needs oil and gas, agriculture, ports, shipping, mines, urban and coastal development, conservation and tourism.

Other modelling approaches have contributed to the improvement of water quality in coastal South-east Queensland.

Major contributions also have been made to the National Marine Bioregionalisation planning process.

Expertise

Population dynamics and resource assessment:

  • population dynamics, stock assessment and management advice
  • management strategy evaluation (MSE)
  • applied mathematics and statistics
  • data management and programming; operations research
  • natural resource management and policy. 

Ecological risk assessment:

  • vulnerability and risk assessments for single or multiple sector exposure to climate change
  • biodiversity characterisation and systems approaches for regional marine planning
  • information management and decision support systems.

Ecosystem and multiple-use modelling:

  • modelling tools to support integrated management of coastal and marine resources
  • whole of system modelling incorporating physical and biogeochemical processes through to top-order predators and human activities.

Coastal zone management and economic modelling: economic, social, biophysical sciences and operations research and environmental and resource economics to support ecosystem-based management of coastal environments and development. 

Research applications

CMAR expertise in integrated marine and coastal assessment and management is applied to research projects undertaken by the CSIRO Wealth from Oceans and Climate Adaptation Flagships.

Read more about CSIRO Marine and Atmospheric Research.