[ASC-media] CSIRO: Science solves puzzle of marine management

Rebecca.Eveleigh at csiro.au Rebecca.Eveleigh at csiro.au
Thu Apr 10 03:50:08 CEST 2008

9 April 2008 
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Embargoed until 10 April 2008

Science solves puzzle of marine management

CSIRO's Wealth from Oceans National Research Flagship and the Western
Australian Government have developed practical tools to help planners
manage potentially competing uses of Australia's marine ecosystems.

The Federal Minister for Industry, Innovation, Science & Research,
Senator the Hon Kim Carr, and the Western Australian Minister for
Environment, the Hon David Templeman MLA, will launch the North West
Shelf Joint Environmental Management Study (NWSJEMS) today in Perth.

NWSJEMS project leader, CSIRO's Dr Scott Condie, said this research was
vital because coasts and oceans worldwide are being exposed to growing
pressure from increasing population and industrialisation.

"Our team developed a sophisticated model that allows users to envisage
different development scenarios and management options, and
comprehensively evaluate their potential impacts on marine ecosystems,"
Dr Condie said.

"The study found that the North West Shelf environment is in good
condition, but will need to be carefully managed to cope with the
current industrial expansion. NWSJEMS provides the scientific tools to
enable this.

"The sophisticated techniques developed for this study are being further
improved and can be adapted for any marine ecosystem facing pressures
from potentially competing uses.

"They're already being applied to the Ningaloo Marine Park to make the
next benchmark in modelling tools for marine managers, and are being
used in south-eastern Australia."

Minister Carr said the study was a good example of the importance of
collaboration and how major national challenges can be tackled.

"The study delivers real tools for planners to tackle the complex issue
of managing the impacts of multiple human activities on the Australian
marine and coastal environment so as to reap social and economic
benefits, while maintaining environmental integrity," Minister Carr

"The project is a powerful example of how collaborations between federal
and state agencies, working hand-in-hand with industry, the community
and local government, can develop innovative approaches to our major
national challenges."

Minister Templeman said the study was important to Western Australia on
several levels.

"Western Australia enjoys a magnificent marine environment and a booming
economy. Our Government is committed to sustaining both," Minister
Templeman said.  

"The outcomes of NWSJEMS will not only benefit the North West Shelf
region, but will also provide a foundation for ensuring sustainable
development of other marine ecosystems in Western Australia, around the
nation and internationally."

Industries that rely on the ocean include; oil and gas, mining,
shipping, fisheries, aquaculture and tourism. But Australians also
treasure the environmental and recreational aspects of our marine

Dr Condie said the impacts of all these uses were interconnected and
often wide-ranging.

"So, rather than examining various marine issues in isolation, our team
took an holistic approach, linking all the key elements of the natural
and human system and integrating the impacts of different marine uses,"
he said.

The $7.7 million study was initiated by the Western Australian
Government and jointly funded by the Wealth from Oceans National
Research Flagship. Many organisations contributed to the NWSJEMS
project, including federal and WA agencies, industry and regional

CSIRO initiated the National Research Flagships (www.csiro.au/flagships)
to provide science-based solutions in response to Australia's major
research challenges and opportunities. The nine Flagships form
multidisciplinary teams with industry and the research community to
deliver benefits for Australia.

Image available at:

Further Information:

Dr Scott Condie, CSIRO Marine & Atmospheric Research
+61 3 6232 5025, 0438 073 614 Scott.Condie at csiro.au 

Dr Ray Masini, WA Department of Environment & Conservation
+61 8 6467 5494, Ray.Masini at dec.wa.gov.au 

Background information available at:	www.cmar.csiro.au/nwsjems; 

Media Assistance:

Meg Rive, Wealth from Oceans Flagship	0438 007 301, Meg.Rive at csiro.au 

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Beck Eveleigh
Media Assistant
CSIRO Media Liaison
6276 6451
0409 395 010

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