This volume is the marine counterpart of Yen and Butcher's (1997) overview of the conservation of non-marine invertebrates. These animals represent the great bulk of marine biodiversity and the consequences of not properly managing and conserving them will be profound. Conservation as a whole suffers from an imbalance in favour of vertebrates, but marine conservation, in general (with the exception of some marine mammals, birds and reptiles) is typically (and given where humans live, not surprisingly) seen as less of a priority than its terrestrial counterpart. One of several reasons for the general lack of interest and action regarding marine invertebates is the lack of accessible information about them and issues relating to their conservation. In developing this report we have been mindful of these matters and have attempted to provide not only an overview of the issues but a resource that will be a useful starting point for the study and conservation of marine invertebrates in this region.
This overview encompasses all aspects of marine invertebrate conservation in Australia and its territories, including the current state of knowledge, conservation issues and approaches, details of threatening processes, recommendations for conservation strategies, information resources, gaps and shortfalls and recommendations, including research needs, necessary to overcome these shortcomings. Appendices detailing collection resources and marine societies are also provided.