All sea snakes are listed marine species under the EPBC Act and three Australian endemic species are listed as Critically Endangered or Endangered, and as such are a national conservation priority. Recent findings of two Critically Endangered sea snake species (Aipysurus apraefrontalis and Aipysurus foliosquama) in locations outside of their previously defined ranges have highlighted the lack of information on species distributions along the North West coast of Australia. Data on sea snake sightings on previously collected baited remote underwater video surveys (BRUVS) and fisheries independent trawl surveys were used to assess the utility of these methodologies to accurately define relative abundance and distribution patterns of sea snakes in the North West Marine Region (NWMR), including within Commonwealth Marine Reserves (CMRs), to refine species’ status.
Presence/absence data from BRUVS were used to predict locations that are likely important habitats for sea snake populations within the NWMR, which included mid-shelf and oceanic shoals along the Kimberley and Pilbara coasts. Limited fisheries-independent trawl sampling data collected in Shark Bay and Exmouth Gulf highlighted patterns of interaction between sea snakes and trawl fishing, with survivorship curves indicating that most sea snake species encountered within these regions may be able to sustain low to moderate levels of trawl fishing. Trawl survey data also highlighted the need for additional fisheries interaction data to accurately assess the species-specific influence of fishing activities (e.g. trawl and trap fishing) on different life stages of sea snakes susceptible to incidental capture (bycatch). This project highlights the need for more data on sea snakes in regions lacking information (e.g. mid-shelf shoals of Kimberley coast, Pilbara coast and Rowley Shoals). In addition, further research is also required to assess the degree of connectivity between sea snake populations from offshore reefs that have seen recent declines, and those on adjacent mid-shelf and oceanic shoals.
Lainey James and Margot Delaporte have completed their first trip aboard the Australian Maritime College Research Vessel Bluefin. The Hub research team revisited reef systems in the Freycinet Commonwealth Marine Reserve.
Looking for brothers and sisters among juvenile white sharks has provided the final pieces of information needed to estimate the size of populations in Australian waters.
Australia has two white shark populations, an eastern population ranging east of Wilson’s Promontory, Victoria, to central Queensland and across to New Zealand, and a southern-western population ranging west of Wilson’s Promontory to north-western Western Australia.
Barry Bruce and Russ Bradford of CSIRO tag a juvenile White Shark off the central coast of New South Wales. Image NSW DPI.
Marine Biodiversity Hub research leader Barry Bruce was interviewed for this online article, 'Shark alert' by Sydney Morning Herald environment editor Peter Hannam. The article features shark tagging footage, interviews with beachgoers, a history of shark bite reports in...
Marine Biodiversity Hub researcher Barry Bruce of CSIRO has been awarded the 2016 Australian Marine Sciences Association (AMSA) Jubilee Award for outstanding contribution to marine research. He will receive his award and deliver a plenary address at the 2016 conference being held jointly by AMSA and the New Zealand Marine Sciences Society on 4─7 July at Wellington, New Zealand.
Barry leads a Hub project that is using cutting-edge technologies to develop a national assessment of white...
Watch the video........Scientists have developed a unique statistical method to measure Australia’s two white shark populations (east and west), vital information to support management and conservation decisions relating to this iconic species. The method is part of a new toolkit of tagging, aerial survey and DNA fingerprinting being used to unlock the mysteries of shark life and death. We’re very close to unlocking the numbers in the east of Australia and now we have begun our work in south...
Post date: 16 May 2014
Senior Research Scientist for Fisheries NSW working on marine protected areas and threatened species
Membership of key national committees
NSW Fisheries Scientific Committee
IUCN Seahorse, Pipefish and Seadragon specialist group