As required by the Marine Parks Act, monitoring is undertaken to inform the statutory review of the marine park management plans required to be undertaken within 10 years from the proclamation. This review will facilitate the adaptive management of marine parks.
Our ongoing monitoring program will collect the information and data required to answer the six key evaluation questions, which we use to make sure that the parks are changing in the way we expect.
Monitoring will be focused along the following activities:
- Underwater surveys of marine plants and animals
- Surveys and mapping of marine habitats
- Incorporating data from research partners such as universities
- Surveys of economic and social impacts on South Australians, especially regional communities
- Citizen science
The ecological monitoring information will enable changes in the distribution and abundance of some habitats and plant and animal species to be compared in areas with differing degrees of protection, such as within or outside of the marine park network.
The Department of Environment, Water and Natural Resources (DEWNR) leads the monitoring program in partnership with government agencies and non-government organisations. This program complements existing monitoring and evaluation initiatives.
A Rock Lobster Survey of the Western Kangaroo Island Marine Park – Cape Du Couedic (Sanctuary Zone 3) report released in October 2017 is an example of a successful collaborative project with the Rock Lobster Industry, SARDI and PIRSA.
South Australia's marine parks program employs a team of experienced marine scientists who gather and analyse information through scientific research and monitoring, including biodiversity surveys and habitat mapping.