Surveying an Australian marine frontier

The RV Solander, with 11 scientists on board,undertook a 25 day survey of biodiversity in open waters off north-western Australia. The ship left Broome on 12 September 2012 returned on 6 October.

The survey was undertaken by the Marine Biodiversity Hub to support the Australian Government’s marine bioregional plans and is supported through funding from the National Environmental Research Program (NERP).

This survey of offshore waters in the north-west, including the proposed Oceanic Shoals Commonwealth Marine Reserve (CMR), is a research collaboration between the Australian Institute of Marine Science (AIMS), Geoscience Australia (GA), University of Western Australia (UWA) and the Museum & Art Gallery of the Northern Territory (MGNT). The survey forms the main activity for Theme 4 of the NERP Marine Biodiversity Hub – Regional Biodiversity Discovery to Support Marine Bioregional Plans. Data from this survey will be used to support the research goals of the other three themes in the Marine Biodiversity Hub and to support the work programs of the Department of the Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities (DSEWPaC).

The information gathered in this survey will be used to fill gaps in biodiversity knowledge and patterns of community assembly, associated physical drivers of marine biodiversity and provide a regional context to these patterns and processes.

See the 3 survey grids of the voyage

Tuesday, September 25, 2012 - 3:10pm

Tuesday, September 25, 2012 - 3:05pm

Footage taken using baited remote underwater video (BRUV).

Image credits: Marcus Stowar, AIMS

Tuesday, September 25, 2012 - 12:34pm

Oceanic Shoals covers 31 362 square kilometres, with the depth ranging from 15-500 metres. It is an important foraging area for marine turtles (loggerhead and olive ridley).

Tuesday, September 25, 2012 - 11:28am

"We'll attract what is swimming down there using tasty bait attached to the remote underwater video cameras (BRUVs), and use a towed sled to sample what doesn't move", says Cruise Leader Andrew Heyward, Australian Institute of Marine Science.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012 - 11:24am

During the survey, "we'll see the shape and form of the seabed by bouncing soundwaves off it", says Cruise Leader Andrew Heyward from the Australian Institute of Marine Science.


Last modified: 
Monday, May 25, 2015 - 4:04pm