New seafloor feature analysis tool for MPAs

Coral Ocean, biodiversity targets

A new online tool helps users understand the seafloor features that occur in a particular managed area and how well those features are currently represented in MPAs. This information can be used to guide future planning of protected areas.

The Protected Areas Impact Maps Virtual Research Environment (PAIM VRE) allows users to visualize, analyze, and report on a range of ecologically important seafloor features, including seamounts, canyons, ridges, trenches, seagrass beds, mangroves, coral reefs, and more.

The interface is built around an interactive map viewer that provides visualization of a range seafloor features. The interface utilizes cloud computing to analyse the representation of seafloor features within marine protected areas for a selected exclusive economic zone or marine ecoregion.

Finally, the interface presents the results of this analysis in an interactive report, with options to download the report or the results of the analysis.

The interface will assist users in understanding which seafloor features occur in an area and how these are currently represented in marine protected areas. This information can be used to prioritize future planning of protected areas to include seafloor features which are poorly represented.

How does the tool work?

The interface allows the user, for a selected reporting region, to report on a range of seafloor features within managed areas:

Reporting regions: Exclusive Economic Zones (EEZs) and Marine Ecoregions.

Managed areas: Marine Protected Areas (MPAs)

Seafloor Features: Seafloor Geomorphology and Seagrass, Mangroves and Coral Reefs.

For more information and to access the tool, visit the PAIM site.

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