Supporting science and partnerships in Australian Marine Parks
Parks Australia manages 58 of the 60 Australian Marine Parks, but we are not a marine research agency. Instead we work in close partnership with research agencies and institutions to encourage, contribute to, or commission science to address park management needs.
Conducting research in remote, offshore, or deep ocean environments is generally expensive and challenging.
Working in partnerships and encouraging collaboration is central to delivering Parks Australia’s marine science program needs.
We rely on the expertise and innovation of the science community to work in these challenging settings and to provide accessible scientific knowledge and communication products.
This includes science delivered under the Hubs of the National Environmental Science Program (NESP).
Valuable scientific information may also be obtained opportunistically by vessels passing through our parks, such as the Marine National Facility or other research vessels.
Australian Marine Parks are managed for their natural, cultural and socio-economic values.
We recognise that there are strong Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander connections to sea country, yet in many areas we have a poor understanding of the cultural values and sea country management needs.
Science partnerships involving respectful engagement with Indigenous communities are therefore a high priority for Parks Australia.
Human use patterns and the socio-economic values and benefits of Australian Marine Parks are research areas we plan to prioritise in the coming years.
We envisage the need for strong collaborations across the natural and social sciences.
Citizen science is another type of science collaboration within Australian Marine Parks.
Citizen science serves a dual purpose:
- to involve community participants in improving scientific knowledge of marine parks for management
- provide participants with an opportunity for hands-on, enriching experience and understanding of park values.
Australian Marine Parks provide excellent opportunities for the science community to contribute to conservation and sustainable use outcomes.
We welcome continuing contributions and partnerships across and within:
- the science community
- the wider community.
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