National areas of interest for seabed mapping, characterisation and biodiversity assessment: scoping study

PROJECT 1.2

Final report, November 2022

Seabed mapping and characterisation surveys are conducted throughout Australia’s marine estate, led by government, academic and private sectors. This project aimed to assist the national coordination, planning and prioritisation of marine surveys that undertake physical and biological seabed data collection.

Through a process of workshops and targeted engagement with stakeholders from the seabed mapping community, the project created a set of standard metadata to allow users to define spatial Areas of Interest (AOI) within Australia’s marine jurisdiction. A submission and publication service was also developed for these areas as part of the open access web application. A prototype prioritisation framework allows users to transparently and consistently establish a rank and priorities for survey work or data delivery processes.

This project sets a strong foundation for understanding the value of marine seabed data collection and delivery within the Australian marine estate. For the first time, the Australian marine science community is able to see the data needs across disciplines and sectors presented through a single portal. Continued engagement is needed to ensure proper coverage and representation of the different sectors and working with national data collection programs to maximise the benefit of data collection opportunities.

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