Conservation And Management
Conserving And Managing Natural Conservations
We conduct our research on conservation and management on three major bases. They include:
- Biodiversity conservation.
- Wildlife management
Our biodiversity conservation research probes how environmental change trends impact the terrestrial, coastal, and marine ecosystems of the Antarctic and sub-antarctic. These researches provide the scientific basis to guide policymaking for environmental protection of these ecosystems.
Our Biodiversity conservation Research is three-pronged and covers:
- Trends and sensitivity to change
- Vulnerability and spatial protection
- Protecting marine biodiversity
The main objective of our three-pronged intensive research is to identify the unique sensitivities of each ecosystem and how vulnerable they are to changes in environmental factors, identify symptoms of a change in of ecosystem as a result of human activity.
We also bring to light the implications of climate change in the Antarctic management and identifying climate change effects on sensitive components of ecosystems.
Our research work is based on several groundworks done over the last two decades, an example being the experimental studies of disturbance to Antarctic wildlife from transport vehicles and visitors, which has in turn been the framework for minimising such disturbance. Through this, we contribute to Australia’s commitment to conserving the Antarctic environment.
Our research programme informs conservation and management options in Antarctica and sub-Antarctic wildlife. Animals such as whales and seals face dire threats to their continued existence. These threats include environmental changes on the feeding grounds, breeding sites, commercial fisheries, and many other human activities.
While some species appear to have a low possibility of recovery, others are regaining their viability rapidly. Overall, their recovery has great positive effects on the terrestrial and marine ecosystems of the region.
Our research priorities are managed by national initiatives such as the species recovery plan process and bio-regional protected area networks. Our research into whales helps foster Australia’s role in the Southern Ocean Research Partnership (SORP), an initiative for the conservation management research on Southern Ocean whales for the International Whaling Commission.
Our fisheries research majorly on Southern Ocean fisheries highlights the management of the Antarctic krill fishery and Antarctic and sub-Antarctic fisheries on icefish and toothfish. However, it also includes the development of a fishery management procedure based on the ecosystem to reduce bycatch.
Our research feeds into Australia’s domestic fisheries forums and by extension into the Commission for Antarctic Marine Living Resources (CCAMLR). CCAMLR oversees fishing in the Southern Ocean, and our ongoing scientific research is important in ensuring that CCAMLR can achieve its three principles of conservation which are to:
- Prevent a decrease in the size of any harvested population to unsustainable levels
- Maintain the ecological relationships between harvested, dependent and related populations and restoring depleted populations
- Minimise the risk of changes in the marine ecosystem which are potentially irreversible over more than a decade.
Overall the fisheries research is divided into three key areas which are: Krill and fish stocks, bycatch, seabird bycatch, fish and invertebrate bycatch.