We propose five future priorities to recognise that research outcomes will benefit from better integration and coordination of effort and from the adoption of new technologies and methods.

These will enable more frequent and extensive monitoring and will ultimately improve our understanding of the marine and coastal environment.

Five priorities

The priorities proposed for marine and coastal management and reporting are:

  1. Use spatial information and Earth observation to help identify and protect Victoria’s marine assets.
  2. Update Victoria's Marine and Coastal Knowledge Framework to reflect the scientific assessments of this report.
  3. Develop thresholds to improve future reporting.
  4. Ensure that the Victorian Government continues to implement existing policies and management plans to benefit the environment.
  5. Trial different models and ways to represent the complex interlinkages between selected Sustainable Development Goal targets, to fully understand the interactions between Victoria’s environment, community and economy.

Benefits

Together, these priorities enable a shift from issues-based marine and coastal management to an integrated, systems approach that recognises the interlinkages of the Sustainable Development Goals and is built on a catchments-to-reefs philosophy.

The first four priorities would benefit from the Sustainable Development Goals modelling proposed in the fifth priority.

Funding of that research would enable a better understanding of the many benefits and trade-offs inherent in sustainable development decision-making – and, in combination with continuing local prioritisation of reporting between the Commissioner and local authorities, would improve the evidence base, leading to better-informed and more targeted interventions.

Common seadragon (Phyllopteryx taeniolatus)
Image credit - Julian Finn, Museums Victoria