ASR - A Global Partner for the Sustainable Management of Coastal and Marine Resources

Bay Of Plenty Doc

Location: Bay of Plenty, New Zealand

Type of Project: Physical, Biological and Ecological Assessment

Client: Department of Conservation (DoC), New Zealand

ASR Projects- Bay Of Plenty Doc

Left to Right: The Bay of Plenty and the study area; a plot of eel grass habitat in Tauranga Harbour, a map of habitat types around Tahua Island (western BoP).

Project Overview:

ASR assisted the The Bay of Plenty Conservancy of the Department of Conservation (DoC) in identifying sites within the Bay of Plenty marine environs as candidates for a representative marine protected areas network. Analysis of these sites would provide a primary layer of information enabling public forums to differentiate between similar habitats and their differing contributions to a Marine Protected areas network in the Bay of Plenty region.

The main objective of this study was to integrate existing habitat and taxa diversity information across the Bay of Plenty region. This information could then be used to identify areas across the Bay of Plenty region that would benefit from marine reserve protection.

Project Outcomes:

ASR used available data to compile a GIS framework of existing habitats and marine flora and fauna in the study region. The GRASP predictive modelling tool was used to maximize the effectiveness of the available data and provide a clearer picture of the various habitats within the Bay of Plenty.

ASR also identified areas where gaps in the available data existed and could be improved. These gaps were most evident in the characterization of deep and shallow reef ecosystems, soft sediment ecosystems and intertidal rocky reef habitat. These knowledge gaps could be bridged by designing quantitative studies at select locations across the Bay of Plenty region and using statistical tools such as GRASP to predict key measures (abundance, diversity etc) onto unknown locations.

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