Mapping and characterising reef habitat and fish assemblages of the Hunter Marine Park

This is a technical report for the Hunter Marine Park surveys as part of the NESP Marine Biodiversity Hub D3 project. The report summarises five years worth of multibeam echo sounder, towed video, stereo-baited remote underwater video and remotely operated vehicle surveys to provide Parks Australia with baseline information for the Hunter Marine Park. The Hunter Marine Park is located of the mid-NSW coast and continental shelf rocky reef was identified as a key ecological feature of the Park. The MBES surveys mapped 30% of the continental shelf component of the Marine Park and identified approximately 5.5km2 of rocky reef. Towed video surveys found these reefs to covered in a diverse range of sessile invertebrate assemblages. The stereo-BRUV surveys focused on three distinct regions across a depth range of 35-120 m. Up to 112 species of fish were identified, including three threatened and protected species. Each of the three locations were deemed to support a unique species assemblages. However, the patterns in distribution where highly species specific and often related to reef structure and season. These are the first mapping and biological surveys of the Hunter Marine Park region.

Document type: