Articles

Published on
11 June 2020
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though they've been much studied, most data that shows where these turtles spend their time around Australia remains unpublished. This is a problem because there are many coastal and offshore activities such as mining, commercial fishing and pollution that may threaten these species. In order to protect them, we need to know the areas that are important to them; the areas where they spend time during the nesting season, their migratory routes and the areas where they forage (feed). In the absence of hard data, the Australian Government have previously designated Habitat Critical Areas as part of the Recovery Plan for Marine Turtles and Biologically Important Areas based on expert scientific knowledge. 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.
Published on
9 June 2020
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. Eighty Mile Beach is a key harvesting area, where P. maxima is reported to occur at depths from 8-40 metres. P. maxima is often found where the seabed is solid and hard and can support communities of filter feeders like sponges. Some reports, however, suggest that P. maxima can survive at depths of up to 120 metres (see p 39 in this report). 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.
Published on
16 December 2019
Bardi-Jawi Marine Rangers partner with marine scientists to research fish and coral recruitment processes in the Kimberley.
Published on
23 November 2018

Sponge taxonomy is difficult and challenging, it requires adequate laboratory facilities, experience and time, which are often not available.

Published on
13 April 2018
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.
Published on
12 December 2017
Published on
12 December 2017

Species richness is a count of the number of different species that exist in a given region or ecological community.

Published on
12 December 2017

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.

Published on
11 December 2017

World Heritage Areas are places that are considered to be of outstanding value to humanity.

Published on
7 December 2017

The Integrated Marine and Coastal Regionalisation of Australia (IMCRA v4.0) classified Australia's marine environment into ecologically rel

Published on
7 December 2017

The Integrated Marine and Coastal Regionalisation of Australia (IMCRA v4.0) classified Australia's marine environment into ecologically rel

Published on
7 December 2017

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.

Published on
7 December 2017

Bathomes are large spatial regions (usually exceeding 1000 km2) characterised by the bathymetric (depth-related) distribution of biota.

Published on
27 September 2017
See where sea lions, sea birds, whales, dolphins and turtles like to breed, forage and nest.
Published on
29 June 2017

Interactive map displays stereo-video imagery collected for the Barossa Environmental Baseline Study 2015, Western Australia. Click on the map below (i.e.

Published on
17 May 2017

Environment Australia is tasked with managing the networks of Commonwealth Marine Reserves (CMR

Published on
15 December 2016
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.
Published on
7 November 2016
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.
Published on
13 October 2016

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.

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