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  • 17 March 2021

    Money Shoal, Arafura Marine Park, Australia

    1.  Introduction  -  2.  Money Shoal  -  2a.  Fish and Sharks  -  2b.  Benthic communities  3.  Acknowledgement

  • 11 June 2020

    Hawksbill and green turtle distribution and important areas

    Global populations of green (IUCN listing endangered) and hawksbill (IUCN listing critically endangered) turtles are declining due to a range of threats. Australia supports some of the largest rookeries (nesting sites) for these turtles in the Indo-Pacific. Even though they've been much studied, most data that shows where these turtles spend their time around Australia remains unpublished. Here, we set out to quantify and map the important areas that turtles use to help refine these protected areas and assist with turtle conservation management.
  • 9 June 2020

    Are Pearl Oysters found in deep water?

    The Silver Lipped Oyster, Pinctada maxima, forms the basis of a historical fishery in tropical Western Australia, estimated to be worth $A61 million in 2013. This fishery supplies pearl and mother of pearl markets through wild harvest of P. maxima stock, augmented more recently with aquaculture. Studies have shown that populations of P. maxima within the region are highly connected to one another. This raises the question of whether oysters located deeper than those safely visited by divers (beyond 30-40 metres) may help replenish stocks in shallower areas. At present, the extent to which P. maxima occurs at these depths (>40 metres) within the region near Eighty Mile Beach is poorly known.
  • 5 February 2020

    A guide to Indigenous science, management and governance of Australian coastal waters

    Understanding the management and governance of Australia’s vast coastline can be complex. International, Commonwealth, State and Indigenous entities all have various roles and powers to promote the health and integrity of Australia’s marine environments.

  • 16 December 2019

    Indigenous partnerships in marine science

    Bardi-Jawi Marine Rangers partner with marine scientists to research fish and coral recruitment processes in the Kimberley.
  • 23 November 2018

    Sponge functional growth forms as a means for classifying sponges without taxonomy

    Sponge taxonomy is difficult and challenging, it requires adequate laboratory facilities, experience and time, which are often not available. Moreover, not all habitats can be physically sampled (e.g. protected areas, deep sea), and for monitoring purposes video work is usually the preferred method. However, sponges cannot reliably be identified from imagery lacking samples, and therefore we recommend using growth forms as a quick classification. If the growth forms are described by clearly focusing on their function, they will represent environmental conditions, e.g.

  • 13 April 2018

    What do we know about the Glomar Shoal Key Ecological Feature?

    Learn more about the Glomar Shoals KEF, based on new knowledge of its benthic and pelagic environments that researchers within the NESP Marine Biodiversity Hub used to develop a preliminary model of the KEF's ecosystem components and processes.
  • 12 December 2017

    Biologically Important Areas (BIAs)

  • 12 December 2017

    Species Richness

    Species richness is a count of the number of different species that exist in a given region or ecological community. It is one of the simplest ways to describe community and regional diversity and is commonly used for a range of environmental assessments in conservation and management.

    Use the interactive map below to discover which areas around Australia have high and low species richness.

  • 12 December 2017

    Ramsar Wetlands of International Importance

    Wetlands are a critical part of our natural environment. They protect our shores from wave action, reduce the impacts of floods, absorb pollutants and improve water quality. They provide habitat for animals and plants and many contain a wide diversity of life, supporting plants and animals that are found nowhere else. The Convention on Wetlands of International Importance (the Ramsar Convention) was signed in Ramsar, Iran on 2 February 1971. The Ramsar Convention aims to halt the worldwide loss of wetlands and to conserve, through wise use and management, those that remain.

  • 11 December 2017

    World Heritage Areas

    World Heritage Areas are places that are considered to be of outstanding value to humanity. Their aim is to protect natural and cultural heritage, and listed sites are places that belong to all the people of the world irrespective of their location. Sites that are nominated for World Heritage listing are only inscribed on the list after they have been carefully assessed as representing the best examples of the world's cultural and natural heritage.

  • 7 December 2017

    IMCRA Provincial Bioregions

    The Integrated Marine and Coastal Regionalisation of Australia (IMCRA v4.0) classified Australia's marine environment into ecologically relevant bioregions for regional planning. These bioregions are the basis for the development of a National Representative System of Marine Protected Areas (NRSMPA).

  • 7 December 2017

    IMCRA Mesoscale Bioregions

    The Integrated Marine and Coastal Regionalisation of Australia (IMCRA v4.0) classified Australia's marine environment into ecologically relevant bioregions for regional planning. These bioregions are the basis for the development of a National Representative System of Marine Protected Areas (NRSMPA).

  • 7 December 2017

    Key Ecological Features

    The Key Ecological Features (KEFs) are parts of the marine ecosystem that are considered to be of particular importance for either a region's biodiversity or its ecosystem function and integrity. This could relate to a species integral to a community (e.g. a predator that impacts a large biomass or number of species), an important habitat type (e.g. that supports high productivity or aggregations of nesting or breeding animals), or a unique seafloor feature that positively impacts the surrounding ecosystem (e.g. a deep canyon that stimulates upwellings of nutrient rich water).

  • 7 December 2017

    Bathomes of Australian waters

    Bathomes are large spatial regions (usually exceeding 1000 km2) characterised by the bathymetric (depth-related) distribution of biota. Bathymetry is important in determining the types of biological communities that exist in a given region. To a large extent, depth determines the amount of light that reaches the seafloor, and it also has a strong influence on the temperature. Different species have specific conditions of light and temperature that they need to survive, and this limits their distribution within the ocean.

  • 29 June 2017

    Baited video surveys collected for the Barossa Environmental Baseline Study 2015, Western Australia

    Interactive map displays stereo-video imagery collected for the Barossa Environmental Baseline Study 2015, Western Australia. Click on the map below (i.e. the blue dots) to view short videos of the fish and benthos collected at each site. Two cameras were used to obtain accurate length measurements of the fish.

  • 17 May 2017

    Probability of existence of benthic habitat classes across the Oceanic Shoals Commonwealth Marine Reserve

    Environment Australia is tasked with managing the networks of Commonwealth Marine Reserves (CMRs). This is particularly challenging for the CMRs in the remote and poorly known N and NW regions, such as the Oceanic Shoals.

  • 15 December 2016

    Targeting the search for biodiversity with environmental variables

    Environment Australia is tasked with managing the networks of Commonwealth Marine Reserves.  This is particularly challenging in the remote and poorly known N and NW regions. Researchers from Australia's NESP Marine Biodiversity Hub's D1 project highlight five key environmental variables that may help predict biodiversity patterns across these regions.
  • 7 November 2016

    What's on the menu for flatback turtles?

    In partnership with the Western Australian Department of Parks and Wildlife, Western Australian Marine Science Institution scientists on the Australian Institute of Marine Science vessel RV Solander recently spent 15 days in the field collecting data to help determine what flatback sea turtles in north-western Australia eat.
  • 13 October 2016

    What do flatback turtles in NW Australia eat?

    Flatback sea turtles (Natator depressus) are endemic to northern Australia and one of only two sea turtle species that are not distributed globally (7 species in total). Nesting occurs only on tropical Australian beaches, many in NW Australia’s remote Kimberley region. Under threat from coastal development, predation from feral animals and climate change, flatbacks are listed as a vulnerable species under the WA Biodiversity Conservation Act 2016 and the Commonwealth Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 and data deficient by the International Union for Conservation of Nature.


Oceanic Shoals CMRResearchers present this interactive map-based summary of the current state of knowledge about the Oceanic Shoals Commonwealth Marine Reserve.


A video about the research conducted as part of the Montara project.

Seismic surveys and the Oceanic Shoals CMRUse the interactive map to see where seismic surveys have been conducted near or within NW Australia's Oceanic Shoals Commonwealth Marine Reserves. 

Petroleum leases and ofshore titlesThe interactive map shows areas within and around the Oceanic Shoals CMR covered by petroleum titles and where these have been 'released' for exploration or extraction.