Presented by Piers Dunstan, CSIRO
Global oceans are experiencing an increasing variety of uses and are experiencing increasing impacts from these activities. There is global agreement that the best approach to managing these uses is through an Ecosystem Approach. Best practice is based on 2 principles, (1) it is done with an ecosystem approach and (2) it is place based. To implement this, management requires several key pieces of information; where do different ecosystems occur, what species do they contain and what are their dynamics. We have developed bioregionalisations of the Indian and South West Pacific Oceans that describe the distribution of biodiversity across these ocean basins. The bioregional provinces combine knowledge from existing bioregionalisations, updated with new information provided by experts. For each of the bioregions, we describe a qualitative ecosystem model of the key ecosystem in the province. We use this information to predict where impacts from human use would be occurring in each region. The qualitative models, combined with an understanding of the distribution of biodiversity, could allow different jurisdictions to take a precautionary approach to the diversity of pressures in each province and exchange ideas on management for provinces that have identified similar ecosystems.