Key Research Goals of Agency
Across Victoria there are 30 Marine Protected Areas (MPAs). These include Marine National Parks (MNP), Marine Sanctuaries (MS), Marine and Coastal Parks, Marine Parks and a Marine Reserve. MPAs span Victoria’s five marine bioregions and aim to conserve and protect ecological processes, habitats and associated flora and fauna. MNPs and MSs are ͞no-take͟areas, while the other MPAs are managed or multiple uses. Information obtained from properly designed and implemented research and monitoring programs is essential to effectively manage Victoria’s MPAs.
A comprehensive marine research and monitoring program has been in place since the establishment of marine national parks in 2002. The research program is mostly undertaken through collaboration with research institutions which are part of Parks Victoria’s Research Partners Panel, while the monitoring program is implemented through a combination of research partnerships, contracts and community based programs. The marine research and monitoring programs address management challenges, focusing both on improving baseline knowledge of the MPAs as well as applied management questions not being addressed by others. This knowledge will continue to enhance Parks Victoria’s capacity to implement evidence-based management through addressing critical knowledge gaps.