These posters were presented at the 2015 New Zealand Marine Sciences Society conference in Auckland.
SeaSketch: Putting science and technology into collaborative Marine Protected Areas planning
Author: Irene Pohl
SeaSketch is an online tool specifically designed for use in marine conservation planning. Developed by researchers at the University of California Santa Barbara, SeaSketch is being used in New Zealand in the implementation of the Marine Protected Areas Policy. As no two MPA planning processes are alike SeaSketch is tailored to reflect case-specific process and planning objectives. Within this context SeaSketch allows the customization of four core functionalities:
- User-friendly browsing through spatial information.
- Instant feedback via analytical reports that show how a proposed MPA fares against planning objectives including MPA network design principles.
- Online sharing and discussing of MPA designs with stakeholders
- Collection of spatial information via SeaSketch’s built-in ‘space monkey’ allows the general public or experts provide valuable georeferenced data needed in a MPA planning context. Come and explore how these functionalities are being used in current conservation projects.
Mapping Macrocystis pyrifera beds from satellite images in New Zealand
Authors: Sanky Meng; Vincent Zintzen; Helen Curtis; Shane Geange
Giant kelp Macrocystis pyrifera (known in New Zealand as bladder kelp) is a large perennial kelp that forms dense beds with layers of floating surface canopies. These beds are at the base of many temperate coastal food webs, provisioning highly structured three-dimensional habitat for associated invertebrate, fish and algal species.
The provisioning of biogenic habitat by giant kelp is influenced by local and regional pressures such as sedimentation, nutrient supply and water temperature. Because giant kelp is a foundation species that responds to a range of pressures, it is a potentially good indicator species for monitoring the ecological integrity of the New Zealand marine environment. Although there is anecdotal evidence that the extent of some of New Zealand’s Macrocystis beds are declining, there has to date been little quantitative evidence to assess the extent and rate of this decline.
Recent advances in the resolution of images provided by satellites means it is now possible to cost-effectively map Macrocystis beds remotely, which allows for the analysis of time-series data. We present time-series analysis using Near Infrared bands and normalized difference vegetation index from QuickBird satellite imagery to map Macrocystis beds in the Marlborough Sounds and discuss the potential of this technique for large-scale monitoring.
New Zealand marine habitat mapping
Author: Helen Curtis
New Zealand’s MPA policy seeks to protect marine biodiversity by protecting representative examples of a full range of marine habitats and ecosystems, including those that are internationally or nationally rare or distinctive. Accurate biophysical habitat maps against which levels of protection can be assessed are important for achieving this.
Existing New Zealand marine habitat mapping at a national level is broad scale and may not represent finer scale habitats, species associations and ecosystem processes. Finer-scale regional and local habitat maps exist where a need and resourcing has been identified; however, these are inconsistent in their level of detail, with patchy coverage and varying quality of underlying data. Habitat mapping in the offshore marine environment is broader still, with modelled outputs limited by the often coarse resolution of the input data.
To help address these issues, there is a need for coordination between organisations and research institutes to highlight lesser-known existing data that can be used for habitat mapping, to develop consistent mapping classification schemes and coordinate future data collection in key areas to increase accuracy and coverage of marine habitat mapping. This poster reviews the current marine habitat maps held by DOC within and beyond 12 nautical miles, mapping and modelling methodologies, and highlights gaps in existing data.
Working with commercial partners: helping to strengthen marine science and conservation
Author: Laura Wakelin
DOC has been working with a range of commercial partners to help grow conservation in New Zealand. In 2013, Air New Zealand announced an extension of their existing partnership with DOC, to focus on marine protection, with a view to benefitting both conservation and tourism.
Air New Zealand is a major partner in DOC’s development of a national marine reserve monitoring and reporting programme, which will allow DOC to monitor and report on the state of New Zealand’s marine protected areas. Air New Zealand is also a sole major sponsor of DOC’s marine experiences network, promoting 10 iconic Coastal Gems as holiday destinations, highlighting the important role that marine environments play in quintessential kiwi life.
This poster will provide an overview of DOC’s approach to working with commercial partners such as Air New Zealand and highlight some of the key ways in which they have helped strengthen marine conservation science and awareness of marine protection in New Zealand.