Articles

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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.
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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.

[Quick links:  Maps to help you get started  -  Links to Indigenous Sea country Management Plans]

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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.
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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.

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See what's happening during biodiversity month in Australia's unique north west marine region.
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The Land and Sea Management Strategy for Torres Strait (2016-2036) (‘the Strategy’) is a guiding framework for enabling Torres Strait Islander and Aboriginal people to continue to sustainably manage and benefit from their land, sea and cultural resources into the future.
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Bardi-Jawi Marine Rangers partner with marine scientists to research fish and coral recruitment processes in the Kimberley.
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To-date, little attention has been paid to the social values associated with marine parks. However, understanding peoples’ needs and values is essential for effective marine park planning and management.
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Scientists from the Australian Institute of Marine Science, CSIRO and the WA Museum continue their exploration of the tropical waters of north-west Australia’s remote Kimberley region.
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The ocean's colour is a reflection of its composition. Researchers, currently at sea, are measuring Kimberley seawater to see how accurately remote measurements (e.g. satellite imagery) reflect ocean composition.
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In a remote marine environment, dominated by gushing tides and swirling waters, diverse and unique marine communities have remained hidden until now…
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Coral reefs in north west Australia provide the perfect opportunity to study the effects of warming events in a region not heavily impacted by humans.
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Marine scientists are supercharging marine research using remote sensing technologies and increased computing power to reveal secrets from one of the most remote and pristine marine regions in Australia.
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Dr Radford explains how he uses sound to explore and map deeper 'hidden' coral reefs of the Timor Sea. It is only recently that these reefs have started to be documented. Many remain undiscovered.
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In 2013 and 2014 AIMS undertook a biodiversity survey of coral and fish species on the reefs around 5 islands in Torres Strait. This article shows the coral photo collection that was taken for species identification.
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Research into Australia's north west oceanic shoals have found them to support exceptional species diversity with fish richness greater than that found on similar submerged reefs on the Great Barrier Reef.
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As part of the NERP TE project 2.3 temperature loggers were deployed at 15 sites across the Torres Strait to measure ocean temperature. The loggers regularly (every 10 minutes) measure the sea water temperature and record it in their memory. Every year or so the loggers are swapped with new loggers and the recorded data is extracted and recorded in the AIMS Real Time Data Systems database as part of the Australia wide Sea Temperature Observing System.

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No-take marine reserves (NTMRs) are widely advocated for conserving exploited fish stocks and biodiversity. Research investigating the effects of the 2004 rezoning of the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park (Emslie et al, 2015) showed that expanding NTMR networks had clear benefits for fishery target, but not non-target, species. A cyclone caused widespread degradation, but target species biomass was retained within NTMRs, with greater recovery potential.

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The crown-of-thorns seastar, Acanthaster planci, is a predator of corals and along with cyclones is the major cause of coral mortality on the Great Barrier Reef (GBR) 1 . The GBR is currently experiencing the fourth wave of crown-of-thorns infestations since the 1960’s.

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The last decade in north Queensland has seen a striking contrast of summers of below median rainfall (2002-2006) and ‘big wets’ (2007-2012). The run of relatively dry summers, followed by the years of high summer rainfall created perfect conditions for researchers to study the effects of river runoff on water clarity in the Great Barrier Reef (GBR) lagoon.

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