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The challenge

Pressures on the marine environment

Aerial view of the coast and ocean
Marine spatial planning identifies pressures to our coastal resources

Half the world's population lives less than 200 kilometres from the coast, in a footprint that covers less than three percent of the planet. Our coasts and oceans provide food, transport, recreation, waste disposal and cultural inspiration. However, these resources are under pressure due to harvesting, habitat loss, pollution, and climate change.

As demands of a growing human population continue to rise, understanding the long-term capacity of ocean ecosystems and building a sustainable Blue Economy is critical, while delivering tools for communities, industry and government to best manage resource use and conserve biodiversity.

Our response

Marine spatial planning tools

Managing ocean resources will help build a sustainable Blue Economy

We have developed and tested various marine spatial planning approaches to assist governments, both nationally and internationally, to support sustainable ocean use and conservation. This includes identifying environmental, social and well-being values, and their relevance for environmental impact assessments.

Specifically designed spatial management strategies combined with innovative and accessible software systems are providing the data to support policy development and are being applied to fisheries management and the identification and management of marine protected areas.

This includes analysis, advice and capacity building for ecosystem risk assessment. The cumulative impact analysis also informs sustainable ocean use and conservation by providing up-to-date data and analyses on the spatial distribution of pressures, values and impacts.

The results

Using values to inform planning and management

Our scientific expertise is supporting governments and other responsible agencies to prioritise and implement marine ecosystem-based planning approaches, not only for existing conditions, but also for future management and governance.

The data we collate and assess identifies existing pressures to help retain and restore ocean resources needed by coastal populations. This is being applied to government information systems including assessments of fisheries, shipping and transport, oil and gas production, marine debris and seismic surveys.

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