Catchment managers and estuarine seafood industries have highlighted the need to consolidate natural resource and industry information that currently exits but that is dispersed and inaccessible. Accessing and interpreting this information will contribute to better understanding and responding to catchment processes and change; thus increasing the potential for long-term healthy catchments and the viability of local industries that they support.
The oyster industry is a cornerstone of the NSW seafood industry that recognises the importance of good water quality and catchment management. Thus, this industry has prompted the development of a user friendly spatial information portal where data is collated, consolidated and delivered through a centralised point – the Oyster Information Portal (OIP). This prototype has been developed in a GIS environment and delivered through an online website with graphical interpretation of temporal environmental data. The data and information categories were prioritised by catchment managers and industry members through meetings and industry workshops. Of importance was that top priority categories of information were the same for industry and catchment managers alike. Priority data includes water quality, catchment impacts and oyster industry management practices that form the base of the current OIP prototype. Additional information on climate projections, governance and research outputs also form part of the OIP to provide a more holistic and integrated synthesis of information related to the catchment.
The OIP prototype has been developed for 4 NSW Local Government Areas (Camden Haven, Hawkesbury, Shoalhaven and Pambula). The relevance of the OIP to applied outcomes will be presented through case study scenarios. The OIP facilitates catchment stakeholders to engage with catchment processes, patterns and trends. In the long term the intention is that the OIP concept can better facilitate adaptation to catchment and environmental change.