RESEARCH PROGRAM #4:

ENVIRONMENT AND ECOSYSTEMS

The Environment and Ecosystems Program offers an integrated, whole of life-cycle, adaptive approach to placement, operation and decommissioning of offshore infrastructure and livestock.

The objective of the Environment and Ecosystems Program (program 4) is to understand the environmental footprint of the infrastructure (Program 1), culture systems (Program 2) and energy generating devices (Program 3).

The EE program connects with Program 5 to develop management systems to monitor environmental impact and interactions with other sectors, and with programs 1-3 to monitor the impacts of the environment on health, maintenance and performance of species,

infrastructure and devices respectively. Commercialisation opportunities include the development of novel monitoring systems including models and user interfaces to deliver real time data and information for use by government, industry and the public.

Research Program Expected Outcomes

OUTCOME 1

Multi-criteria regional marine spatial planning tool for the identification of regional areas that would support technical and economically feasible areas for integrated multiple-use platforms. This is including consideration for other users (and associated trade-offs), identification of desired environmental conditions, and a suite of potential indicators and reference points to be used to track operational performance and predicted impacts.

OUTCOME 2

Framework for assessing proposed offshore activities and supporting specific site selection. Constituent products include: systematic risk assessment process (hazard analysis, risk assessment, contingency and response identification); indicator identification and benchmarking; characterisation of site properties; and creation of reference cases and requirements for subsequent developments and assessments.

OUTCOME 3

Smart monitoring and information platforms, maximising probability of correctly attributing the cause of observed changes and enabling responsive operations. Automated data workflows feeding forecasting systems will result in model and data products, coordinated in centralised information platforms featuring in-built visualisation and processing, and a design focus on easing access and interoperability. This underlies a risk alert system and incident response platform.

OUTCOME 4

New understanding and prioritisation of emerging and extant disease and parasite vectors, and exposure and treatments in the novel offshore environment. This will include impacts on phenology, and ecology on wild stocks. New biosecurity protocols will leverage off the new understanding and new data types (accessed via A3) to prioritise risk responses and health-related procedures both for stocks on farms and in the immediate vicinity of platforms.

OUTCOME 5

Understanding, tools, and guidelines pertaining to the benefits, drawbacks, and trade-offs associated with co-location of operations on multiple use platforms. This includes: social, economic, environmental footprint of platforms and their interaction with surrounding socio- ecological systems; life cycle, economic, and systems analysis procedures; reporting; and analyses of feasibility, returns on investment and public good comparison of offshore activities versus terrestrial or coastal industries.

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RESEARCH PROGRAMS

RP4 Environment and Ecosystems (EE) Program

4.20.001

Monitoring and Assessing Offshore/High Energy Production Structures

4.20.002

Operational Modelling for Offshore Aquaculture & Energy

4.20.003

Tools to assess cross-sector interactions

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PROGRAM STAFF

Dr Beth Fulton

Program Leader
CSIRO Oceans and Atmosphere

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Dr Remo Cossu

Deputy Program Leader
University of Queensland

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Professor Chris Frid

Deputy Program Leader
Griffith University

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Professor Irene Penesis

Research Director
Australian Maritime College,
University of Tasmania

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