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The RV Southern Surveyor was a 66.1 m research vessel operated by the Australian Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation from 2003-2013 (take a virtual tour).  Its primary mission was to conduct scientific research within the North and

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The RV Southern Surveyor was a 66.1 m research vessel operated by the Australian Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation from 2003-2013 (take a virtual tour).  Its primary mission was to conduct scientific research within the North and

Published on

The RV Southern Surveyor was a 66.1 m research vessel operated by the Australian Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation from 2003-2013 (take a virtual tour).  Its primary mission was to conduct scientific research within the North and

Published on

The RV Southern Surveyor was a 66.1 m research vessel operated by the Australian Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation from 2003-2013 (take a virtual tour).  Its primary mission was to conduct scientific research within the North and

Published on

The RV Southern Surveyor was a 66.1 m research vessel operated by the Australian Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation from 2003-2013 (take a virtual tour).  Its primary mission was to conduct scientific research within the North and

Published on

The RV Southern Surveyor was a 66.1 m research vessel operated by the Australian Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation from 2003-2013 (take a virtual tour).  Its primary mission was to conduct scientific research within the North and

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The RV Solander is a 34.9 m long marine research vessel operated by the Australian Institute of Marine Science (take a virtual tour, map its current position).

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Australia is the fifth largest user of shipping in the world with more than 11,000 vessels from 600 overseas ports visiting Australia's 65 major ports each year.  This creates the potential for hazardous spills of various types (most notably oil spills - such as the Montara spill of 2009), which could damage key coastal and marine ecosystems.

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As an island continent, Australia has sovereign rights over a vast area of ocean, along with the fishery, mineral, and petroleum resources found in that area.

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The type, size and distribution of sediments on the seabed plays an important role in determining the suitability of a given area for settlement by benthos.  For example, filter feeders like sponges must attach themselves to a rocky substrate or get swept away by tidal currents.  

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Dusky whaler sharks are widely distributed throughout the world's tropical and warm temperate waters (watch a video). This includes NW Australia's Oceanic Shoals CMR.  

Use the interactive map below to explore the home range of these sharks within and beyond the CMR.

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Australia is the fifth largest user of shipping in the world with more than 11,000 vessels from 600 overseas ports visiting Australia's 65 major ports each year. About 98 per cent of Australia's exports are carried by ships.  Understanding where shipping occurs over time is important because it can harm coastal and marine ecosystems and their inhabitants.

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Submerged reefs and shoals are important features of the North West Marine Region of Australia due to their diverse and often unique benthic (e.g., corals, sponges) and fish biodiversity.  In 2009, reefs and shoals near the Montara oil field were exposed to an uncontrolled release of oil and gas that lasted for 74 days. 

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Submerged reefs and shoals are important features of the North West Marine Region of Australia due to their diverse and often unique benthic (e.g., corals, sponges) and fish biodiversity.  In 2009, reefs and shoals near the Montara oil field were exposed to an uncontrolled release of oil and gas that lasted for 74 days. 

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Submerged reefs and shoals are important features of the North West Marine Region of Australia due to their diverse and often unique benthic (e.g., corals, sponges) and fish biodiversity.  Glomar Shoal and Rankin Bank are the only large, complex, bathymetrical features on the outer western shelf of the West Pilbara and are located approximately 150km north of Dampier.

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Researchers from Project D1 of the Marine Biodiversity Hub of the National Environmental Science Programme present this interactive map-based summary of the current state of knowledge about the Oceanic Shoals Commonwealth Marine Reserve.

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