When the network of marine national parks and sanctuaries were established in 2002, it was imperative to identify the threats to the ecological values of the parks, set management priorities and develop appropriate monitoring programs. So in collaboration with the University of Melbourne and supported by the Australian Research Council Linkage program, Parks Victoria commenced a state-wide risk assessment. This research surveyed key stakeholders to determine their concerns relating to the health and management of marine national parks and sanctuaries.
From 2004 until 2006, 16 workshops were held across the state with a total of 206 stakeholders participating. On completion, over 500 hazards had been identified. These ranged from hazards which applied to all parks (e.g. poaching of commercially valuable species) to park specific hazards (e.g. trampling of mangroves by cattle or sheep).
The information generated by this research was incorporated into management plans and in some cases refocused the management plan according to what factors were deemed important. Results also helped to develop the Marine Research and Monitoring Strategy 2007-2012 and the Marine National Park and Marine Sanctuary Monitoring Plan 2007-2012, and resulted in the development of targeted research projects such as the marine pest research.
The risk assessment project was vital in ensuring that marine national parks and sanctuaries are managed properly and according to the concerns of all stakeholders.
Project Report (PDF)