Arafura Marine Park Eco-narrative

This eco-narrative forms an initial description of the physical and biological features of Arafura Marine Park, located north-east of Darwin. The marine park contains a gently sloping broad shelf that grades to a series of canyons that connect the shelf to the continental slope. Seabed mapping and biodiversity surveys were undertaken by the Marine Biodiversity Hub in November 2020. The survey targeted two areas: Money Shoal, a shallow reef habitat (10 – 60 m deep) that supports corals, sponges and a diverse fish community in clear waters; and Pillar Bank on the outer shelf (150 – 200 m deep) which is characterised by a complex seabed of large ridges, valleys and plains, with turbid waters, muddy seabed and a comparatively sparse seabed biota. The region is characterised by strong tidal flows and a connection to waters delivered by the regions mesoscale currents. Nutrient levels are relatively low across most of the park, with localised higher nutrient levels close to the coast.

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