Bathymetric data are used inter alia to define management boundaries, implement conservation measures, allocate catch among area, estimate spatial impacts due to fishing, and inform ecosystem-based management through bioregionalisation. Several data sources for bathymetric data exist, and these sources improve with time through additional data collection and analytical methods. In addition, the methods used to derive spatial statistics such as contour maps, seabed areas, or ecoregions are complex and also improve with research through time. We report on an effort to define the current “best available science” bathymetric data for the Ross Sea region along with a set of spatial tools in the form of computer scripts that provide a transparent and citable method to derive standard summary statistics for use by fishery managers. This is especially important because of the multinational use of such data. Currently, we have obtained publically available bathymetric data sources, created a spatial database, and have developed preliminary scripts for extracting an appropriate cell size, calculating seabed areas and generating rugostiy at user-defined scales. Future work will incorporate data from multibeam surveys, and potentially data from other nations and fishing vessels where available.
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