This document provides a preliminary version of a research and monitoring plan to accompany a proposal to CCAMLR for the establishment of a system of MPAs in the Ross Sea region in 2012.
The draft Conservation Measure which with this research and monitoring plan is associated includes eight protection objectives as identified in Sharp & Watters (2011). Within each of these eight objectives there are identified specific objectives each of which is associated with an explicit spatial distribution or ‘target area’ defining the geographic extent of the feature (e.g. key ecosystem processes, habitats, species, populations and/or life-history stages) that has been identified as a priority for protection. This draft MPA research and monitoring plan is structured consistent with these specific objectives and priority features. Pursuant of each specific objective we identify the following categories of inquiry: i) research and monitoring to ensure that the boundaries of the priority feature as defined in the target area remain accurate, and/or to determine to what extent those boundaries may be moving; ii) research and monitoring to further understand the ecosystem role and importance of the priority feature, and/or to understand the environmental or biological processes that affect it, including potential threats from fishing; and iii) research and monitoring to demonstrate the extent to which achievement of the specific objective is being met, i.e. to demonstrate whether identified or plausible threats are being effectively mitigated by the MPA
New Zealand welcomes feedback from and collaboration with other Members in the development of a draft research and monitoring plan. The plan will be revised following discussion for resubmission to SC-CCAMLR-XXXI in September 2012.