University of Tasmania
Report_D3_2016-04-26.pdf (3.87 MB)

Evaluating and monitoring the status of marine biodiversity assets on the continental shelf

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posted on 2023-05-25, 03:59 authored by Vanessa LucieerVanessa Lucieer, Huang, Z, Porter-Smith, R, Nichol, S, Neville BarrettNeville Barrett, Hayes, K
Rocky reefs form an important habitat on the continental shelf and one subject to disproportionate fishing pressure given the high productivity of this habitat relative to adjacent sandy seabed. Despite this, little is known of the extent and nature of these systems beyond their value to the fishing industry. This report details the outcomes of a national stakeholder workshop to (1) identify and collate existing mapping data on the shelf, and develop a pathway to make it available to inform management, and (2) develop a national classification scheme for shelf reefs based on geomorphology to further improve the capacity for mapping programs to identify variability.

This report is also a milestone progress report for the Hub project D3 Phase 1- Identification and collation of Australia’s shelf mapping datasets and development of a national geomorphological classification scheme for reef systems. By June 2016, this project will produce an updated map of known shelf reef systems around Australia, and a process to identify critical gaps in our knowledge of reef habitat distribution to be filled by future targeted surveys. This will significantly improve the knowledge of these environmental assets within State and Commonwealth waters, improve our understanding of assets in marine protected areas and inform environmental assessment of proposed activities and developments required by environmental legislation. Collated information also contributes to the development of a blueprint for monitoring key ecological features of the Commonwealth Marine Area.

The geomorphological classification system being developed for shelf reef systems is undertaken with the aim of developing a nationally accepted and adopted framework applicable to all scales of mapping to describe patterns of variation that are likely to drive and explain the distribution of associated biota.


Commissioning body

National Environmental Science Programme: Marine Biodiversity Hub






Institute for Marine and Antarctic Studies


National Environmental Science Programme: Marine Biodiversity Hub

Place of publication


Rights statement

This report is licensed by the University of Tasmania for use under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 Australia Licence.

Repository Status

  • Open

Socio-economic Objectives

Assessment and management of terrestrial ecosystems

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