News Story: Ecosystem Characterisation of the Bay of Bengal, May 2014

Participants describing the ecosystem regions in working groups

Participants describing the ecosystem regions in working groups

The Bay of Bengal Large Marine Ecosystem (BoBLME) Project is laying the foundations for a coordinated program of action designed to better the lives of the coastal populations in this area, through improved management of the environment, its resources and trans-boundary issues.

Scientists from Bangladesh, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Maldives, Myanmar, Sri Lanka and Thailand participated in a workshop supported by the Crawford Fund to develop a characterisation of the Bay of Bengal ecosystems and understand trans-boundary issues.

CSIRO Team member Donna Hayes showing participants Geomorphological features for one of the regions in the GIS. From Left to Right Ms Yasmin Ara Ahmad, Dr Gejo Anna Geevarghese, Mr Sarajit Kumar, Dr Mohammed Ashraful Azam Khan, Dr S Prasanna Kumar, Dr K.Sunil Mohamed

CSIRO Team member Donna Hayes showing participants geomorphological features for one of the regions in the GIS. From Left to Right Ms Yasmin Ara Ahmad, Dr Gejo Anna Geevarghese, Mr Sarajit Kumar, Dr Mohammed Ashraful Azam Khan, Dr S Prasanna Kumar, Dr K.Sunil Mohamed

The scientists were instructed in a process for developing an ecosystem characterisation using methods developed by CSIRO.

Participants gained a broad understanding of how ecosystems function and factors impacting variability, productivity, habitats and species.

“As a result of the workshop, the process of identifying and describing the Bay of Bengal is well underway, including identifying assets and threats of the region,” said Ms Donna Hayes, CSIRO.

A report describing ecosystems within the Bay of Bengal was developed, along with a range of presentations. These products can be used by various BoBLME management agencies to improve the sustainable use of marine ecosystems.

The workshop further served to link scientists from a range of different disciplines in BoBLME countries and Australia.