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Marine science

Across Victoria there are 30 Marine Protected Areas (MPAs). These include Marine National Parks (MNP), Marine Sanctuaries (MS), Marine and Coastal Parks, Marine Parks and a Marine Reserve.

MPAs span Victoria’s five marine bioregions and aim to conserve and protect ecological processes, habitats and associated flora and fauna. MNPs and MSs are “no-take” areas, while the other MPAs are managed or multiple uses.

Parks Victoria’s management of the MPAs is now progressing from a risk-based management approach, to an asset-led and objectives-based approach, which includes clearer and more measurable statements of desired condition of the natural assets they were established to conserve, and acceptable levels of threat to those assets. This asset-led approach to management sits within an Adaptive Management Framework.

To effectively manage MPAs, information obtained from properly designed and implemented research and monitoring programs is essential. A comprehensive marine research and monitoring program has been in place since the establishment of marine national parks in 2002. The research program is mostly undertaken through collaboration with research institutions which are part of Research Partners Panel, while the monitoring program is implemented through a combination of research partnerships, contracts and community based programs.

The marine research and monitoring programs address management challenges, focussing both on improving baseline knowledge of the MPAs as well as applied management questions not being addressed by others. This knowledge will continue to enhance Parks Victoria’s capacity to implement evidence-based management through addressing critical knowledge gaps.

Find out more

Research findings have been published in Parks Victoria’s Technical Series.