Broad-scale biodiversity assessments for marine protected areas in NSW
Non Technical Summary
This conference paper describes the methods and information being used to assess the existing NSW system of marine protected areas (MPAs) and identify where additional marine protected areas may be required. It discusses the goals and criteria being used to help establish a national system of MPAs and how these have been adapted for use in NSW. These include mapping an environmental classification of bioregions, ecosystem types and habitats and using it to approximate broad patterns in the distribution of marine biodiversity. The paper also describes how ecological identification criteria and available information have been incorporated into Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and computer-assisted planning tools to help identify potential sites for MPAs.