An eco-narrative of the Gascoyne Marine Park, North-west marine region
This report is one in a series of eco-narratives that synthesise our existing knowledge of Australian Marine Parks. Eco-narratives are intended to enable managers and practitioners to rapidly ascertain the ecological characteristics of each park, and to highlight knowledge gaps for future research focus. Gascoyne Marine Park is dominated by two submarine canyons that incise the continental slope of the western Australian margin and provide some degree of connectivity between the continental shelf and abyssal plain. The park is characterised by a range of benthic environments, including near-vertical cliffs of exposed bedrock in the canyons, and sediment covered slopes on the continental slope that grade to abyssal plains that occupy the greater proportion of the park.
Scientists have collected the first fine-scale maps and imagery of reefs and submarine canyons in the rarely visited Arafura Marine Park, revealing seafloor environments with surprisingly diverse coral and fish communities.