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Overall seagrass index scores in the Northern and Whitsunday inshore zones in the 2017 could be perceived to be at odds with corresponding indicator scores. This is not an error in calculation, but a consequence of combining data from two different programs with different scoring approaches into the same reporting product.

Importantly, to combine these programs the seagrass index score is derived from averaging site/meadow scores from within a zone, not averaging the indicator scores within a zone.

A key difference between the two programs is that they derive site/meadow scores differently; the MMP takes the average of the indicator scores while the QPSMP takes a conservative approach and allocates the lowest of the indicator scores to the site/meadow.

For the Northern zone where scores are calculated from QPSMP data, this has led to indicator scores that are good and very good, but a moderate final seagrass index. In comparison, in the Whitsundays, where the scores are calculated from MMP data, there was no data for reproductive effort and nutrient status indicators at a number of sites, meaning the final site/meadow scores (and hence the final seagrass index scores) are weighted towards the score of the remaining indicator, abundance.

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