Surveys were undertaken in January/February 2009 (summer) at the Capricorn-Bunker, Pompey and Swains Groups on deepwater
reef bases (shoals) in the Great Barrier Reef. In each survey, reefs were paired with one zoned 'green' (closed to fishing)
and the other 'blue' (open to all fishing) - 16 pairs of reefs. The demersal habitats and vertebrate communities were sampled
using non-extractive baited remote underwater video stations (BRUVS), which revealed a diverse (c360 species) fauna of fish,
sharks, rays and sea snakes.
Habitat composition of underlying substratum (sand, rubble, consolidated outcrop or reef), and epibenthic community (hard
coral, soft coral, sponge, macroalgae, whips and gorgonians, encrusting organisms, bare substratum) - estimated from BRUVS
field of view as percentage cover of each component, to nearest 10 percent.
Zone (Green, G; or Blue, B); Reef name; Habitat class (coral dominated reef; gorgonian and seawhip garden; low relief rubble
field; algal meadow; open sandy seabed); Depth (m); Latitude and longitude (ship's GPS position at deployment).
Fish species were placed in categories depending on the likelihood of being caught and retained by line fishers:
Target species - (1,703 sightings, 21 species) the most desirable demersal fishes based on their market price and size,
as well as their reef dwelling habits.
Bycatch species - (5,510 sightings, 85 species) undersized juveniles of target species; undesirable fishes caught by line
fishers; pelagic and semi-pelagic species retained for consumption, use as bait, or released alive; all sharks and rays
likely to take a baited hook.
Unfished species - (16,635 individuals, 251 species) those unlikely to be hooked because of dietary preferences or small
To describe the fish fauna in relation to habitat and spatial and temporal variables on selected reef base shoals of the
To present baseline fish community data from BRUVS surveys of 16 pairs of 'blue'
(open to fishing) and 'green' (closed to fishing) zoned shoals in the GBRMP (32 reefs in total).
Shoal survey locations:
20-348; 20-353; 21-060; 21-062; 21-064; 21-139; 21-187; 21-245; 21-278; 21-296; 21-302; 21-550; 21-558; 21-591; 22-084; Boult
Reef; Broomfield Reef; Chinaman Reef; East Cay Reef; Erskine Reef; Fairfax Islands Reef; Hoskyn Islands Reef; Jenkins Reef;
Lady Musgrave Reef; Mast Head Reef; North Reef (North); Penrith Reef; Pompey Reef No.1; Pompey Reef No.2; Small Lagoon Reef;
Tern Reef; Wade Reef.
This is one component in a series of surveys conducted as part of this MTSRF project, see also separate metadata records
Southern mid-shelf shoals (East and West Warregos; Karamea and Barcoo Banks)
Shoals off Cardwell
Shoals off Cairns
Magnetic Shoals (Townsville)
Note that the 'Northern Shoals' of Cardwell, Cairns, and Magnetic Shoals have individual records as each region was analysed
Fish recorded (note that not all species/families were recorded at all locations):
Carcharhiniformes: Carcharhinidae (whaler sharks) Carcharhinus albimarginatus, C. amblyrhynchos; Galeocerdo cuvier; Triaenodon
obesus - Sphyrnidae (hammerhead sharks)
Rajiformes: Rhinidae (shark rays); Stegostomatidae (leopard sharks)
Orectolobiformes: Ginglymostomatidae (nurse sharks) Nebrius ferrugineus - Hemiscylliidae (catsharks) Chiloscyllium punctatum
- Myliobatidae (manta and eagle rays)
Perciformes: Acanthuridae (surgeon-fishes) Acanthurus dussumieri - Caesionidae (fusiliers) Caesio cuning; Pterocaesio marri
- Carangidae (trevallies) Carangoides chrysophrys, C. fulvoguttatus, C. gymnostethus; Caranx ignobilis; Gnathanodon speciosus;
Pseudocaranx dentex - Chaetodontidae (butterflyfishes) Chaetodon rainfordi; Chelmon rostratus; Coradion altivelis - Echeneidae
(suckerfishes) Echeneis naucrates - Grammistidae (soapfishes) Diploprion bifasciatum - Haemulidae (sweetlips) Diagramma pictum
- Labridae (wrasses and tuskfish) Bodianus perditio; Cheilinus fasciatus; Choerodon cyanodus, C. fasciatus, C. gomoni, C.
jordani, C. schoenleinii, C. venustus, C. vitta; Cirrhilabrus punctatus; Coris pictoides; Halichoeres zeylonicus; Labroides
dimidiatus; Leptojulis cyanopleura; Oxycheilinus bimaculatus; O. digrammus; Suezichthys devisi - Lethrinidae (sweetlip emperors)
Gymnocranius audleyi; G. grandoculis; Lethrinus genivittatus; Lethrinus laticaudis, L. miniatus, L. nebulosus, L. olivaceus,
L. ravus, L. rubrioperculatus, L. semicinctus - Lutjanidae (snappers and sea perches) Aprion virescens, Lutjanus adetii,
L. carponotatus, L. malabaricus, L. sebae, L. vitta; Symphorus nematophorus - Mullidae (goatfishes) Parupeneus barberinoides,
P. barberinus, P. heptacanthus - Nemipteridae (threadfin bream) Pentapodus aureofasciatus; P. nagasakiensis; P. paradiseus;
Scolopsis monogramma - Pinguipedidae (grubfishes) Parapercis xanthozona - Pomacanthidae (angelfishes) Chaetodontoplus meredithi;
Pomacanthus semicirculatus; P. sexstriatus - Pomacentridae (damselfishes) Chromis nitida; Pomacentrus australis, P. nagasakiensis;
Pristotis jerdoni - Rachycentridae (cobias) Rachycentron canadum - Scaridae (parrotfishes) Scarus flavipectoralis, S. schlegeli
- Scombridae (mackerels and tunas) Gymnosarda unicolor; Scomberomorus commerson - Serranidae (groupers and coral cods) Cephalopholis
boenak; C.sonnerati; Epinephelus coioides, E. fasciatus, E. malabaricus, E. quoyanus, E. undulatostriatus; Plectropomus laevis,
P. leopardus, P. maculatus; Variola albimarginata; V. louti - Siganidae (rabbitfishes) Siganus argenteus, S. punctatus
Rhinobatiformes: Rhynchobatidae (sharkfin guitarfishes) Rhynchobatus djiddensis
Tetraodontiformes: Balistidae (triggerfishes) Abalistes stellatus; Sufflamen fraenatum - Tetraodontidae (pufferfish) Lagocephalus
Related AIMS Publications
Cappo MC, MacNeil MA, Stowar MJ and Doherty PJ (2009) The influence of zoning (closure to fishing) on fish communities of
the deep shoals and reef bases of the southern Great Barrier Reef. Part 1 - Baited video surveys of the Pompey, Swain and
Capricorn-Bunker groups of reefs off Mackay and Gladstone. MTSRF Research Report No. 37 ISBN 9781921359361. Reef and Rainforest
Research Centre and Australian Institute of Marine Science. 53 p.