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MFish launches new online GIS tool

MFish launches new online GIS tool

Mon, 19 Jul 2004

The Ministry of Fisheries has launched a new geospatial data (GIS) management tool, NABIS (National Aquatic Biodiversity Information System), which will enable local and central government, and others to work better and smarter.

The new tool will be online at www.nabis.govt.nz from Monday 19 July. It allows users to create multi layered maps tailored to their needs by adding layers of information on to a base map of land and sea, showing at a glance all information relating to a particular geographic area.

NABIS was developed under the New Zealand Biodiversity Strategy and directly contributes to the Strategy's stated goal of "becoming smarter biodiversity managers" by providing improved access to information for those responsible for the planning and decisions relating to our marine biodiversity.

www.nabis.govt.nz contains: * Foundation data: topographical maps, towns, rivers including: - 20 layers depicting geographic reference information (land, roads, towns, rivers etc) - Recreational fishing survey zones, compliance regons, CCAMLR boundaries) - Layers detailing closed or restricted fishing areas (as defined by the Fisheries Act and associated regulations) - Layers showing distributions of marine mammal breeding colonies - Layers showing biological distributions for over 20 species of seabird - Layers depicting distributions of breeding colonies for over 30 species of seabird and certain species of marine mammal

* Biological information: finfish and invertebrate species distributions including: - Over 200 layers depicting biological distributions for finfish and invertebrates

* Fisheries Management information: Quota Management Areas, Fisheries Management Areas, Statistical Areas including: - Over 120 layers showing fishery related boundaries such as QMAs, FMAs and statistical areas * Commercial Catch information: An interactive tool allowing the selection of species, fishing method and calendar/fishing year to display Catch Effort data in a map based form, for around 100 species of commercially caught finfish and invertebrates

* Antarctic information: a set of information layers showing the boundaries of the areas used in the management of Antarctica's marine living resources * Metadata and attribute data: providing definitions and information about the source, accuracy, coverage and usage of all mapped information.

Particularly relevant information for Fisheries Managers includes: * Distributions of commercial species of finfish and invertebrates * Quota Management, Fisheries Management and Statistical Areas * Commercial Catch information

Particularly relevant information for local government includes: * Topographical maps including land, roads, towns, rivers etc * Maritime zones including fisheries management boundaries * Biological information including marine mammal and seabird species breeding locations

"After four years of talking with users, developing and testing the technology and pulling together relevant information it is extremely exciting to launch this management tool onto the Internet" said Jacqui Burgess Science Manager Biodiversity at MFish.

"Over the next couple of years we hope to add layers including the locations of marine reserves, areas where different fisheries regulations apply, localities of marine farms and the biological distributions of more species of fish, seabirds and marine plants" added Ms Burgess. " We are looking forward to working with other agencies to continue to improve the system and to increase the information available to support our collective management and planning needs."

MFish Development Manager Jim Coyle said that "It has been an opportunity for us to get to grips with some exciting new technologies within a challenging business environment".

The NABIS system was designed and developed internally at MFish. It has been developed and implemented in Java, using the JSP and Java Servlet technologies hosted in an Apache Tomcat server.

Mr Coyle added that other key technologies used were JavaScript in the web pages, which provides a better interactive experience for the users and Apache Struts to manage navigation throughout the web site. The Mapinfo tools used were their MapXtreme Java GIS engine, to provide the rendering functions, and Spatialware, to manage and manipulate spatial data.

He said the architecture used will enable the system to be cost effectively scaled up as and when required.


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