Diving into The Deep: The Unique Habitats of The Coral Sea Marine Park

Galbraith, G., McClure, E.C., Barnett, A., Cresswell, B., Burn, D., Huertas Martin, V., Pratchett, M., and Hoey, A. (2022) Diving into The Deep: The Unique Habitats of The Coral Sea Marine Park. Report. Parks Australia, Townsville, QLD, Australia.

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The Coral Sea is a critically important and significant ecosystem, which (like coral reefs globally) is increasingly threatened by changing environmental conditions, particularly ocean warming. To date, the majority of research and monitoring in the Coral Sea Marine Park (CSMP) has focused on shallow (<20m) reef habitats, with limited research into deep (>30m) reef habitats. As such our understanding of these deep habitats, the ecological communities they support, and the connectivity between them is lacking. Given these deep reef habitats likely occupy a much greater area than shallow reef habitats in the CSMP and have been suggested to provide a refuge from anthropogenic disturbance, there is a critical need to advance our understanding of these unique ecosystems.

James Cook University was awarded funding through an Our Marine Parks Round 2 grant to explore and document the deep (>30m) reef habitats of the Coral Sea Marine Park. Specifically, the key objectives of this project were to:

(i) use emerging technologies, such as remotely operated vehicles (ROV), to describe, for the first time, the composition and nature of coral and other benthic communities in deep reef habitats (30-100m) of the CSMP.

(ii) describe the fish communities that occupy these deep reef habitats within the CSMP.

(iii) use acoustic tracking to quantify movement, and thus connectivity, of large fishes and sharks among reefs within the CSMP, and between the CSMP and adjacent reefs of the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park (GBRMP).

Item ID: 80446
Item Type: Report (Report)
Keywords: Deep reefs, mesophotic, ROV, Coral Sea Marine Park
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Copyright Information: © Commonwealth of Australia 2022. This work is copyright. Apart from any use as permitted under the Copyright Act 1968, no part may be reproduced by any process without prior written permission from the Commonwealth. Requests and inquiries concerning reproduction and rights should be addressed to the Commonwealth Copyright Administration, Attorney General’s Department, Robert Garran Offices, National Circuit, Barton ACT 2600 or posted at http://www.ag.gov.au/cca
Date Deposited: 14 Sep 2023 00:03
FoR Codes: 31 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 3103 Ecology > 310305 Marine and estuarine ecology (incl. marine ichthyology) @ 50%
41 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES > 4104 Environmental management > 410401 Conservation and biodiversity @ 50%
SEO Codes: 18 ENVIRONMENTAL MANAGEMENT > 1805 Marine systems and management > 180504 Marine biodiversity @ 100%
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