The Marine chapter of the 2016 State of the Environment (SoE) report incorporates multiple expert templates developed from
streams of marine data. This metadata record describes the Expert Assessment "The state and trends of quality of habitats
and communities – seabed, inner shelf (0 - 25 m)". The full Expert Assessment, including figures and tables (where provided),
is attached to this record. Where available, the Data Stream(s) used to generate this Expert Assessment are accessible through
the "On-line Resources" section of this record.
DESCRIPTION OF HABITAT/COMMUNITY FOR EXPERT ASSESSMENT
The inner shelf seabed consist of a mix of habitats that range from rocky reef through coral reef, seagrass, algae and soft
sediment, although this assessment focusses on open coast unvegetated soft sediment habitats on the inner shelf (0-25 m
depth) as the other inshore habitats are assessed in other SoE metrics. Note that this assessment differs slightly from
that in 2011 that focussed on the 0-50 m depth range, and it is assumed was also confined to soft sediment habitat. It concluded
that the overall condition was good at a national scale, but poor in the SE and East, was likely to be stable, but it was
based on limited evidence and trends from the previous assessment.
Inner shelf soft sediment habitats are usually dominated by coarse to fine sand in exposed coast locations but can grade
to finer silts in sheltered habitats with nearby estuarine inputs and with depth. In specific locations, significant habitat
mapping and/or biodiversity sampling programs have substantially improved knowledge of the spatial distribution of these
habitats, and have provided an initial description of their current condition (e.g. Barrett et al. 2001; Pitcher et al. 2007ab,
2016; Jordan et al. 2010, Kangas et al. 2007, Currie et al. , 2003, 2009). However, at a national scale there is currently
no integration and synthesis of this information on which to base condition assessments. In addition, there is little information
to assess the extent of temporal trends or habitat degradation from baseline conditions. Despite this, there are a number
of threats that can be identified and assessed to determine the potential current trends. These include trawling (through
physical disturbance of the seabed), sedimentation/nitrification, and the spread of introduced pest species.
DATA STREAM(S) USED IN EXPERT ASSESSMENT
Assessment is based on data and analyses published in peer reviewed literature and agency reports. Details of specific data
sets used to generate the assessment have not been provided.
2016 SOE ASSESSMENT SUMMARY [see attached Expert Assessment for full details]
• 2016 •
Assessment grade: Good
Assessment trend: Unclear
Confidence grade: Limited evidence or limited consensus
Confidence trend: Limited evidence or limited consensus
Comparability: Grade and trend are comparable to the 2011 assessment
• 2011 •
Assessment trend: Stable
CHANGES SINCE 2011 SOE ASSESSMENT
Not clear on what basis and how the 2011 was conducted. Note that this assessment differs slightly from the 2011 assessment
which was focused on the 0-50 m depth range, and it is assumed was also confined to soft sediment habitat.
Barrett, N., Sanderson, J.C., Lawler, M., Lucieer, V., and Jordan, A. (2001). Mapping of Inshore Marine Habitats in South
-eastern Tasmania for Marine Protected Area Planning and Marine Management. Tasmanian Aquaculture and Fisheries Institute,
Technical Report No 7, 202p. http://eprints.utas.edu.au/9087/1/Mapping_of_Inshore_Marine_Habitats_Nov2001.pdf
Bax, N. J., & Williams, A. (2001). Seabed habitat on the south-eastern Australian continental shelf: Context, vulnerability
and monitoring. Marine & Freshwater Research, 52(4), 491-512.
David Currie (2003) Technical Report: Port Curtis macrobenthic monitoring programme (Surveys 1995 - 2001). Joint report
prepared for the Gladstone Port Authority and Southern Pacific Petroleum. Centre for Environmental Management, Central
Queensland University. 42p.
Currie, D.R., Dixon, C.D., Roberts, S.D., Hooper, G.E., Sorokin, S.J. and Ward, T.M. (2009). Fishery-independent by-catch
survey to inform risk assessment of the Spencer Gulf Prawn Trawl Fishery. Report to PIRSA Fisheries. South Australian Research
and Development Institute (Aquatic Sciences), Adelaide. SARDI Publication No. F2009/000369-1. SARDI Research Report Series
No. 390. http://pir.sa.gov.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0005/231782/No_390_Fishery-independent_by-catch_survey_to_inform_risk_assessment_of_the_Spencer_Gulf_Prawn_Trawl_Fishery.pdf
FAO. 2008. International Guidelines for the Management of Deep-Sea Fisheries in the High Seas: Annex F of the Report of
the Technical Consultation on International Guidelines for the Management of Deep-Sea Fisheries in the High Seas. FAO, Rome.
Jordan, A., Davies, P., Ingleton, T., Foulsham, E., Neilson, J. and Pritchard, T. (2010). Seabed habitat mapping of the
continental shelf of NSW. http://www.environment.nsw.gov.au/research/SeabedHabMap.htm
Kangas, M.I., Morrison, S., Unsworth, P., Lai, E., Wright, I., Thomson, A. (2007). Development of biodiversity and habitat
monitoring systems for key trawl fisheries in Western Australia. Final report to Fisheries Research and Development Corporation
on Project No. 2002/038. Fisheries Research Report No. 160, Department of Fisheries, Western Australia, 334p.
Pitcher, C.R., Ellis, N., Althaus, F., Williams, A., McLeod, I. (2015) Predicting benthic impacts & recovery to support biodiversity
management in the South‐east Marine Region. Pages 24–25 in Bax, N.J. & Hedge, P. [Eds.]. 2015. Marine Biodiversity Hub, National
Environmental Research Program, Final report 2011–2015. Report to Department of the Environment. Canberra, Australia.
Tracey, D. M., S. J. Parker, E. Mackay, O. Anderson, and K. Ramm. 2008. Classification guide for potentially vulnerable
invertebrate taxa in the SPRFMO Area. south Pacific Regional Fisheries Management Organisation (SPRFMO).
QUALITY OF DATA USED IN THE ASSESSMENT
CUSTODIAN AND LOCATION OF DATA
Various agencies undertaking the studies (details of specific data sets used to generate the assessment have not been provided).
METHOD USED TO DETERMINE STATE OR RECENT TREND
Expert assessment based on peer reviewed literature and agency reports.
When citing this Expert Assessment in a list of references use the following format:
citation author name/s (year metadata published), metadata title. Citation author organisation/s. File identifier and Data
accessed at (add http link).