Key research priorities for the future of marine science in New Zealand
New Zealand's marine and coastal environments are of significant ecological, economic, cultural and social value. Yet a multitude of threats, disjointed legislation, and considerable knowledge gaps continue to limit the country's ability to effectively manage its marine ecosystems and resources. As such, it is important to identify the key research priorities that can best support progress towards more relevant and informed decision-making. Here we present the results of the New Zealand Marine Science Horizon Scan, which identified the ten highest priority research questions for the future of marine science in New Zealand across nine themes: 1) fisheries and aquaculture, 2) biosecurity, 3) climate change, 4) marine reserves and protected areas, 5) ecosystems and biodiversity, 6) policy and decision-making, 7) marine guardianship, 8) coastal and ocean processes, and 9) other anthropogenic factors. These key research priorities can be used to complement ongoing marine science activities, develop new and important areas of research, encourage opportunities for collaboration, and improve transparency around research and decision-making. Not only will answering these questions bridge existing knowledge gaps in marine science, but they can also be used to design research programmes that make the greatest contributions to the future of marine conservation, policy, and management in New Zealand.
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