Australia’s Commonwealth Marine Reserve System is currently under review. I wrote a submission with Prof. Possingham on behalf of the Centre of Excellence for Environmental Decisions tackling the issue of representation in the current reserve network.
Key findings of our analysis:
- Less than 3% of shelf habitats are protected in the strictest IUCN MPA Categories ( Ia and II)
- Twenty-two percent of bioregions have less than 10% protection in any form of MPA category- (the most liberal conservation scheme we could analyse)
- While there is no scope to augment the existing reserve boundaries, there is potential to better protect the diverse range of habitats found within the broader network and ensure that every bioregion benefits from at least one strict MPA class
You can view the full submission here.