A new discussion paper has detailed a lack of overarching policy guidelines to protect Tasmania's marine environment, despite the state having comprehensive research bodies repeatedly publishing research on ecosystem issues.
And the waters off the East Coast - warming at a rate four times faster than global averages - are accelerating in attracting marine pests such as jellyfish blooms and sea urchins, while fish species are experiencing rapid distribution changes.
Introduced species were also increasingly preying on native invertebrates - such as the Northern Pacific starfish preying on shellfish - and altering seabed habitats, such as the New Zealand screw shell.
The discussion paper from the Australia Institute in conjunction with the Tasmanian Independent Science Council found there has been little comprehensive governmental reporting on marine ecosystems since the 2009 State of the Environment report.
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That report, carried out by the planning commission, concluded that there was insufficient evidence at the time to note trends in estuarine, coastal and marine ecosystems.
But the new paper found that research from bodies such as the Institute of Marine and Antarctic Studies, Centre for Marine Socioecology and the Blue Economy Cooperative Research Centre could provide the information needed on trends to guide policy in protecting ecosystems.
The research bodies were already linking planning, decision making and management arrangements across sectors, but more government will and new policy directions would be needed to reverse trends, the Australia Institute paper outlined.
The paper also found Tasmania "lags behind" in terms of marine protection, with 1.1 per cent of waters highly protected and 2.7 per cent partially protected, excluding Macquarie Island, compared with the global average of 5.3 per cent of protection.
It recommended "integrated, ecosystem-based management" to identify current and future use of marine estates, recommencing a program of marine protected areas with a specific focus on the North-West Coast and an independent review of Tasmania's marine legislation and regulatory framework.
"Tasmania's coastal waters have high biodiversity and endemism but are in a state of decline and increasing pressure from climate change, fishing and aquaculture operations, agricultural run-off, urban development, and population growth," the paper found.
"Where problems have been identified, there is often no recovery or threat abatement plan.
"Despite the environmental, economic and cultural significance of Tasmania's coastal waters, it has been over a decade since the last integrated assessment of their health by resource managers."
There was also a view that stronger regulatory frameworks could assist commercial industries, including identifying the gloomy octopus had expanded its range from the mainland and could be commercially fished.