Latest News https://www.aims.gov.au/ en Unknown risk from contaminants flying under the radar on Great Barrier Reef and Torres Strait https://www.aims.gov.au/news-and-media/unknown-risk-contaminants-flying-under-radar-great-barrier-reef-and-torres-strait <h1 class="au-header-heading">Unknown risk from contaminants flying under the radar on Great Barrier Reef and Torres Strait</h1> <span><span lang="" about="/user/5" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">kate</span></span> <span>Thu, 2020-03-26 15:38</span> <div class="field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field__item"><p><img src="/sites/default/files/2020-03/img_4604_1050px_0.jpg" /></p> <p><span><span><span>Scientists have identified critical knowledge gaps for a number of contaminants entering into the waters of Great Barrier Reef and Torres Strait.</span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><span>These contaminants originate from a wide range of sources from the land and on the water, including urban, industrial and shipping activities. </span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><span>The contaminants, known as ‘contaminants of emerging concern’, include: </span></span></span></p> <ul> <li><span><span><span>antifouling paint (used to prevent biofouling on ship’s hull)</span></span></span></li> <li><span><span><span>heavy metals and metalloids (from both natural and man-made sources)</span></span></span></li> <li><span><span><span>pharmaceuticals and personal care products (such as medicines, perfumes and sunscreens)</span></span></span></li> <li><span><span><span>coal dust and particles</span></span></span></li> <li><span><span><span><a href="https://www.aims.gov.au/water-quality/plastics">marine debris</a> (such as microplastics from broken down plastic products) and,</span></span></span></li> <li><span><span><span>hydrocarbons (such as oil-based fuels and lubricants).</span></span></span></li> </ul> <p><span><span><span>Marine ecologist and lead author on the study, <span class="MsoHyperlink"><u><a href="https://www.aims.gov.au/our-people/dr-frederieke-kroon">Dr Frederieke Kroon</a></u></span> of the Australian Institute of Marine Science (AIMS) said while these contaminants are known to be in the marine environment, little is known about their effect on the Reef’s ecosystem.</span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><span>“Currently, water quality management focusses on the excess nutrients, sediments and pesticides entering the inshore Great Barrier Reef from the land. However it’s also important we account for other contaminants flying under the radar of current monitoring," Dr Kroon said.</span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><span>The study, funded by the <span class="MsoHyperlink"><u><a href="https://nesptropical.edu.au/">Australian Government’s National Environmental Science Program - Tropical Water Quality Hub</a> </u>and AIMS</span>, used all available water quality monitoring data and research from the region to inform future ecological risk assessments of these contaminants.</span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><span>“We found we have sufficient information to understand what contaminants are likely to be present in the region, and in some cases where they come from. Now, we need to better understand the potential risk they pose to the marine ecosystem so they can be effectively managed.”</span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><span>The risk posed by a contaminant to an ecosystem is determined by two major factors – the concentrations of the contaminant in the environment, and comparing these to the levels they begin to affect key marine organisms.</span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><span>“For most of these contaminants, we do not know the concentrations found in the marine environment, nor the levels that are hazardous to tropical marine plants and animals.  The next step would be to focus further monitoring and research on a short-list of potential high-risk contaminants based our study.”    </span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><span>The Great Barrier Reef catchment, a major source of these contaminants, is home to more than 1.2 million people, and supports urban, industrial and agricultural activities. Shipping is also a major contaminant source, as the marine environment is exposed to intense shipping activities from small recreational boats to large commercial<strong> </strong>vessels.</span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><span>As Queensland’s population grows, the sources of the contaminants will also increase. </span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><span>“To inform future management of these contaminants, it is important to implement targeted monitoring of potential high-risk contaminants, establish a baseline in the region and ensure any future increases are detected in time,” Dr Kroon said.</span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><span>Dr Kroon said that good water quality was at the heart of healthy and resilient reef ecosystems.</span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><span>“Tropical marine ecosystems are facing serious challenges ahead, particularly ongoing warming as a result of climate change.</span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><span>“Global challenges need to be managed over the medium-to-long term, but regional and local issues such as water quality can be managed effectively in a relatively short time frame and will help the Reef be more resilient.”</span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><span>The study, ‘<em>Sources, presence and potential effects of contaminants of emerging concern in the marine environments of the Great Barrier Reef and Torres Strait, Australia</em>,’ is published in <span class="MsoHyperlink"><u><a href="https://doi.org/10.1016/j.scitotenv.2019.135140">Science of the Total Environment</a></u></span>.</span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><span>Learn more about this research on the <span class="MsoHyperlink"><u> <a href="https://nesptropical.edu.au/wp-content/uploads/2016/05/NESP-TWQ-1.10-FINAL-REPORTa.pdf">Tropical Water Quality Hub</a></u></span> website.</span></span></span></p> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-media-release-type field--type-list-string field--label-above"> <div class="position-above">Media Release Type</div> <ul class="au-tags"> <li>News</li> </ul> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-thumbnail field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field__item"><article> <div class="field field--name-field-media-image field--type-image field--label-hidden field__item"> <img src="/sites/default/files/2020-03/img_4604_1050px_0.jpg" width="1050" height="656" alt="Plastic debris on a beach" typeof="foaf:Image" /> </div> </article> </div> Thu, 26 Mar 2020 04:38:07 +0000 kate 3694 at https://www.aims.gov.au AIMS site working arrangements with respect to COVID-19 https://www.aims.gov.au/news-and-media/aims-site-working-arrangements-respect-covid-19 <h1 class="au-header-heading">AIMS site working arrangements with respect to COVID-19</h1> <span><span lang="" about="/user/5" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">kate</span></span> <span>Tue, 2020-03-17 10:35</span> <div class="field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field__item"><p><span><span>Please be advised that with effect from Monday, 16<sup>th</sup> March, AIMS staff have begun a partial work from home process to help contain the spread of the COVID-19 virus.</span></span></p> <p><span><span>Each of AIMS three sites differ in terms of risk profiles and therefore we have applied different approaches to each of them. Despite this obvious disruption, AIMS will continue to function and continue to deliver the best science for the nation.</span></span></p> <p><span><span>In Perth, where we share a building with other users on the University of Western Australia campus, the office will be shut until further notice and staff will work from home.</span></span></p> <p><span><span>AIMS’ office in Darwin, at the Arafura Timor Research Facility, on the Charles Darwin University campus will also close but be accessible to staff for critical work. </span></span></p> <p><span><span>Our Townsville site is a standalone location and we will keep this open, however we will reduce the number of people at the site to help make social distancing controls easier to implement and more effective. This means that if people are able to work from home, then they will do so. </span></span></p> <p><span><span>These are prudent measures designed to maintain the health and well-being of our people while keeping important scientific research functioning. </span></span></p> <p><span><span>We believe this is the safe and sensible approach. It is important that we play our part to help stop the spread of the virus to our people, our community and to those from other organisations with whom we work.</span></span></p> <p><span><span>We have reviewed our Continuity of Business Plans and are confident that AIMS can continue to function effectively and also maintain our key functions such as operating the National Sea Simulator. </span></span></p> <p><span><span>We faced a similar, although shorter term, challenge with the Townsville floods in February last year so for many staff working from home is routine.</span></span></p> <p><span><span>We are monitoring what is a constantly changing situation, we will align our comprehensive approach with advice from the Australian Government’s Department of Health and adjust our procedures as necessary.</span></span></p> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-media-release-type field--type-list-string field--label-above"> <div class="position-above">Media Release Type</div> <ul class="au-tags"> <li>News</li> </ul> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-thumbnail field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field__item"><article> <div class="field field--name-field-media-image field--type-image field--label-hidden field__item"> <img src="/sites/default/files/2020-03/aims_logo_slate.jpg" width="656" height="424" alt="AIMS logo and government crest" typeof="foaf:Image" /> </div> </article> </div> Mon, 16 Mar 2020 23:35:11 +0000 kate 3693 at https://www.aims.gov.au Students get real with marine science in school workbooks https://www.aims.gov.au/news-and-media/students-get-real-marine-science-school-workbooks <h1 class="au-header-heading">Students get real with marine science in school workbooks</h1> <span><span lang="" about="/user/5" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">kate</span></span> <span>Wed, 2020-03-11 16:01</span> <div class="field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field__item"><p><span><span><span>Queensland’s marine science students are now accessing the latest in long-term monitoring information on the health of the Great Barrier Reef.</span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><span>The Australian Institute of Marine Science’s (AIMS) <a href="https://www.aims.gov.au/reef-monitoring/gbr-condition-summary-2018-2019">long-term monitoring graphs</a> have been included in a student workbook, giving Year 12 students accurate information to interpret, with reference to regional trends, how coral cover has changed on reefs over time.   </span></span></span></p> <figure role="group" class="embedded-entity align-right"> <div data-embed-button="media_entity_embed" data-entity-embed-display="view_mode:media.embed" data-entity-type="media" data-entity-uuid="d0a3a20e-a398-41d2-baef-f4934ec4086e" data-langcode="en"> <article> <div class="field field--name-field-media-image field--type-image field--label-hidden field__item"> <img alt="Three students studying from marine science workbook" height="533" src="/sites/default/files/2020-03/ti_school_marine_science_students_stanley_masaio_rico_bottom_to_top_web.jpg" typeof="foaf:Image" width="400" /> </div> </article> </div> <figcaption>Marine science students from Tagai State College,<br /> Thursday Island study AIMS long term reef monitoring data</figcaption> </figure> <p><span><span><span>AIMS’ <a href="https://www.aims.gov.au/docs/research/monitoring/reef/latest-surveys.html">Long Term Monitoring Program</a> leader Dr Mike Emslie said the Institute’s researchers had explored marine life in the World Heritage Area for nearly 50 years, and held 37 years of ongoing annual monitoring data, detailing the Reef’s health.</span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><span>“It is great to see students getting access to the actual data which our experts collect and analyse, and which reefs managers use to understand what is happening in the marine park,” Dr Emslie said.  </span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><span>Marine science teacher and author of the 160-page Year 12 Marine Science student workbook, Gail Riches, said the graphs demonstrated the value of actual data to interpret trends and identify changes to the reef over time.</span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><span>“I felt it was important for Marine Science students to be made aware of the wonderful work the Australian Institute of Marine Science has been doing for the reef over many years, and what a valuable resource it is,” Ms Riches said.</span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><span>“The workbook uses actual working science to inform students of the health of the reef and these graphs demonstrate to students how a rigid methodology can be used to obtain reliable and valid results. </span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><span>“The graphs are readily available and easy to access for students to find and use for their assignments. It felt like a no-brainer.”</span></span></span></p> <figure role="group" class="embedded-entity align-center"> <div data-embed-button="media_entity_embed" data-entity-embed-display="view_mode:media.embed" data-entity-type="media" data-entity-uuid="086e3037-8684-4d89-a401-e545d2d79a4b" data-langcode="en"> <article> <div class="field field--name-field-media-image field--type-image field--label-hidden field__item"> <img alt="AIMS scientist conducting survey over coral reef" height="857" src="/sites/default/files/2020-03/img_4342_facebook.jpg" typeof="foaf:Image" width="1200" /> </div> </article> </div> <figcaption>An AIMS scientist surveys a coral reef on the Great Barrier Reef</figcaption> </figure> <p><span><span><span>The student workbook will teach the new syllabus to Queensland’s state and private school students, as part of the new Australian Tertiary Admission Score (ATAR) system, which has replaced the OP (overall position) system. </span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><span>Subjects covered include information about coral bleaching, ocean acidification, reef resilience and recovery, fisheries and aquaculture, and concepts such as tipping points, connectivity, the biological pump and the carbonate buffering system. </span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><span>Ms Riches said about 1000 year 12 students would access the workbook as part of their studies this year across Queensland, from the Torres Strait to the Gold Coast. </span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><span>Learn more about <a href="https://www.aims.gov.au/docs/research/monitoring/reef/latest-surveys.html">AIMS’ latest reef monitoring surveys</a>.</span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><span>Feature image: <em>Marine science students from </em></span></span></span><em>Clontarf Beach State High School, Brisbane <span><span><span>work from the Year 12 Marine Science student workbook.</span></span></span></em></p> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-media-release-type field--type-list-string field--label-above"> <div class="position-above">Media Release Type</div> <ul class="au-tags"> <li>News</li> </ul> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-featured-image field--type-entity-reference field--label-above"> <div class="field__label">Featured image</div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/media/5037/edit" hreflang="en">clontaf_students_hi-res_web.jpg</a></div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-thumbnail field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field__item"><article> <div class="field field--name-field-media-image field--type-image field--label-hidden field__item"> <img src="/sites/default/files/2020-03/clontaf_students_hi-res_web.jpg" width="1200" height="900" alt="two students happy about working with marine science workbook" typeof="foaf:Image" /> </div> </article> </div> Wed, 11 Mar 2020 05:01:14 +0000 kate 3691 at https://www.aims.gov.au High temperatures add more stress to Australia’s Great Barrier Reef https://www.aims.gov.au/news-and-media/high-temperatures-add-more-stress-australias-great-barrier-reef <h1 class="au-header-heading">High temperatures add more stress to Australia’s Great Barrier Reef</h1> <span><span lang="" about="/user/5" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">kate</span></span> <span>Tue, 2020-02-25 10:10</span> <div class="field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field__item"><figure role="group" class="embedded-entity align-center"> <div data-embed-button="media_entity_embed" data-entity-embed-display="entity_reference:media_thumbnail" data-entity-embed-display-settings="featured" data-entity-type="media" data-entity-uuid="a0132676-a70d-4344-bef1-3268ec318615" data-langcode="en"> <img alt="Yellow glider underwater next to coral reef" height="600" src="/sites/default/files/styles/featured/public/2020-02/lsp6667_imagecredit_dennisstanley_rrrc_900px.jpg?itok=CmbjPZil" typeof="foaf:Image" width="900" /> </div> <figcaption>An underwater glider collects oceanographic information on a coral reef. Image Credit: Dennis Stanley/RRRC</figcaption> </figure> <p><span><span>Ocean temperatures across parts of the Great Barrier Reef have been above or close to thresholds where there is a high risk of coral bleaching for several weeks.</span></span></p> <p><span><span>During this time, temperature readings from <a href="https://weather.aims.gov.au/#/overview">marine weather stations operated by the Australian Institute of Marine Science </a>(AIMS) have shown sea surface temperatures throughout most of the Reef at 1 to 2.5°C above average.</span></span></p> <p><span><span>Fortunately, cooler weather over the weekend has brought some relief, reducing the immediate likelihood of severe widespread bleaching. Nevertheless, if clear skies and low wind conditions return, so will the risk of bleaching.</span></span></p> <p><span><span><a href="https://www.aims.gov.au/our-people/craig-steinberg">AIMS Oceanographer Craig Steinberg</a> said AIMS is working closely with the <a href="http://www.gbrmpa.gov.au/">Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority (GBRMPA)</a> and specialists from other national and international agencies to ensure we have the most comprehensive understanding of conditions on the Reef.</span></span></p> <p><span><span>“Our knowledge and long-term understanding of northern Australian waters tell us warming oceans place enormous pressure on the Reef’s ecology. If heatwave conditions persist or worsen, we can expect corals to exhibit stress and experience some level of regional bleaching,” he said <a id="_Hlk33109363" name="_Hlk33109363"></a></span></span></p> <p><span><span>Mr Steinberg said they received temperature data from satellites, AIMS’ marine weather stations, and an in-water autonomous robot, to monitor temperatures in real time. A network of more than 170 electronic temperature loggers is also deployed across the Reef.</span></span></p> <p><span><span>“We have re-deployed an<a href="http://imos.org.au/"> Integrated Marine Observing System (IMOS)</a> underwater glider to areas of concern in the waters north east of Townsville,” he said.</span></span></p> <p><span><span>“With its on-board sensors, the glider provides our scientists with information about ocean properties at different depths of the water column including temperature and light, to help explain any observed levels of coral bleaching.”</span></span></p> <p><span><span>“Knowing how deep the warm surface layer is, can help determine the depth corals are likely to experience heat stress. </span></span></p> <figure role="group" class="embedded-entity align-center"> <div data-embed-button="media_entity_embed" data-entity-embed-display="view_mode:media.embed" data-entity-type="media" data-entity-uuid="79520cd5-d0ff-4da8-987e-319e4599ba2f" data-langcode="en"> <article> <div class="field field--name-field-media-image field--type-image field--label-hidden field__item"> <img alt="Small boat in foreground with tall metal structure on reef" height="630" src="/sites/default/files/2020-02/Davies%20Reef1.JPG" typeof="foaf:Image" width="840" /> </div> </article> </div> <figcaption>AIMS-operated weather station on Davies Reef, central Great Barrier Reef</figcaption> </figure> <p><span><span>AIMS’ <a href="https://www.aims.gov.au/docs/research/monitoring/reef/latest-surveys.html">long-term coral reef monitoring team</a> is at sea on the <a href="https://www.aims.gov.au/docs/about/facilities/rv-capeferguson.html">RV Cape Ferguson</a>, recording conditions at our long-term sites. The team will visit reefs in the central GBR over the next week and then move to the southern areas in late March.</span></span></p> <p><span><span>These observations provide detailed insights as to the level of bleaching now, and in context of the long-term health on the reefs AIMS has regularly surveyed for 35 years. </span></span></p> <p><span><span>This scientific information helps AIMS understand marine heat phenomena and, given the vast size of the Great Barrier Reef, prioritise locations to observe. The observations together with models can help scientists predict regions most at risk of bleaching.</span></span></p> <p><span><span>According to the <a href="http://www.bom.gov.au/climate/current/annual/aus/">Bureau of Meteorology, 2019 was Australia's warmest year on record.</a> At the end of last year, sea surface temperatures were cooler than average in the Coral Sea but warmer offshore of north-western Australia. This situation has now reversed in 2020.</span></span></p> <p><span><span><a href="https://www.aims.gov.au/our-people/dr-paul-hardisty">AIMS Chief Executive Officer Dr Paul Hardisty</a> said the underlying trend of ocean warming means there is increased stress on Australian reefs, and an increased likelihood of bleaching in any given year.</span></span></p> <p><span><span>“This year, we have come close to a major bleaching event. We are still on the knife-edge. How the reef fares will depend on weather conditions over the next few weeks. Importantly, this is happening in a non El-Niño year,” Dr Hardisty said. </span></span></p> <p><span><span>“The next major El Niño event, which typically results in warmer sea temperatures on the reef at this critical time of year, poses a real risk for the reef. We need to be prepared as oceans continue to warm.</span></span></p> <p><span><span>“The scale and severity of the bleaching damage in 2016 and 2017 highlighted the critical threat warming ocean temperatures pose to coral reefs.</span></span></p> <p><span><span>“Coral reefs typically take a decade or more to recover from disturbances like severe bleaching events, yet they are becoming more frequent. Without a reduction of global temperatures, the health of the Reef is expected to continue to decline.”</span></span></p> <p><span><span>Dr Hardisty said the closer the world gets to achieving the goals of the Paris Accord, the greater the chance we can preserve coral reefs, and sustain their functions and values.</span></span></p> <p><span><span>“If we want to safeguard coral reefs for the future, we also need to begin developing options for intervening on the Great Barrier Reef to help it cope better with climate change, in conjunction with reducing global greenhouse gas emissions,” he said.</span></span></p> <p><span><span>“That’s why we at AIMS, are <a href="https://www.aims.gov.au/coral-bleaching">focusing our research to breed heat tolerant corals</a> to help them adapt, recover and survive warming ocean conditions. We are also a partner with many leading scientific organisations in the Federal Government-funded <a href="https://www.gbrrestoration.org/">Reef Restoration and Adaptation Program</a>.”</span></span></p> <p><span><span>Dr Hardisty said, changing local and regional weather conditions affected the likelihood of bleaching and would be a critical factor in the health of the Reef. The weather over the next few weeks will determine if the waters in Queensland will warm further and lead to significant bleaching, or certain events would cause them to cool.</span></span></p> <p><span><span>“Our research teams have also been closely watching warming sea surface temperatures off Western Australia, but this has turned around due to ocean temperatures changing quickly in response to local weather conditions.</span></span></p> <p><span><span>“The tracks of three tropical cyclones (<a href="http://www.bom.gov.au/cyclone/history/blake.shtml">TC Blake</a>, TC Claudia and most recently, <a href="http://www.bom.gov.au/cyclone/history/damien-2020.shtml">TC Damien</a>) provided some relief to the coral reefs off northwest Australia, but temperatures in this region typically remain high until April. </span></span></p> <p><span><span>“Fortunately, in Queensland over the weekend we have also experienced cooler weather which is bringing water temperatures down by ~1 to 1.5 deg C from peak temps of 31 deg C on some areas of the Great Barrier Reef. </span></span></p> <p><span><span>“Winds are being drawn from the Coral Sea toward (ex)Tropical Cyclone Esther bringing with them heavy cloud and rainfall. </span></span></p> <p><span><span>“We are continuing to closely monitor the situation, as clear skies and low winds may return over the next few weeks and warming conditions may resume, ” Dr Hardisty said.</span></span></p> <p><span><span><strong>Media Contact</strong></span></span><br /> <span><span>Australian Institute of Marine Science – Media Officer Emma Chadwick </span></span><br /> <span><span>Mobile: 0412 181 919 or email: <a href="mailto:e.chadwick@aims.gov.au">e.chadwick@aims.gov.au</a> </span></span></p> <p><a href="https://www.aims.gov.au/sites/default/files/2020-02/AIMS%20Media%20Release%20-%20Monitoring%20marine%20heat%20wave_24Feb2020.pdf"><span><span>PDF download (124KB)</span></span></a></p> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-news-categories field--type-entity-reference field--label-above"> <div class="position-above">Categories</div> <ul class="au-tags"> <li><a href="/taxonomy/term/2" hreflang="en">Latest releases</a></li> </ul> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-media-release-type field--type-list-string field--label-above"> <div class="position-above">Media Release Type</div> <ul class="au-tags"> <li>Media Release</li> </ul> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-thumbnail field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field__item"><article> <div class="field field--name-field-media-image field--type-image field--label-hidden field__item"> <img src="/sites/default/files/2020-02/lsp6667_imagecredit_dennisstanley_rrrc_900px.jpg" width="900" height="600" alt="Yellow glider underwater next to coral reef" typeof="foaf:Image" /> </div> </article> </div> Mon, 24 Feb 2020 23:10:17 +0000 kate 3683 at https://www.aims.gov.au High-tech lab goes to sea to find heat resistant corals https://www.aims.gov.au/news-and-media/high-tech-lab-goes-sea-find-heat-resistant-corals <h1 class="au-header-heading">High-tech lab goes to sea to find heat resistant corals</h1> <span><span lang="" about="/user/5" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">kate</span></span> <span>Mon, 2020-02-10 13:45</span> <div class="field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field__item"><p><span><span>Marine scientists are using portable ship-borne aquaria in the search for heat-resistant corals that could survive warming ocean temperatures caused by climate change.</span></span></p> <p><span><span>The specially-designed experimental aquarium is operating from the Australian Institute of Science’s largest research vessel, the RV Solander, on expeditions to Western Australia’s remote Rowley Shoals and the Great Barrier Reef.</span></span></p> <p><span><span>Dr Luke Thomas said AIMS’ specialist technicians replicated the technology in the <a href="https://www.aims.gov.au/seasim">National Sea Simulator</a> in Townsville, into a transportable system – known as ‘SeaSim in a Box’ – designed to handle the conditions of Australia’s remote tropical waters.</span></span></p> <p><span><span>“We can now conduct high-tech experiments from the back deck of our ship while surrounded by corals on the reef,” Dr Thomas, a researcher working with AIMS and the University of Western Australia’s Oceans Institute, said.</span></span></p> <figure role="group" class="embedded-entity align-center"> <div data-embed-button="media_entity_embed" data-entity-embed-display="view_mode:media.embed" data-entity-type="media" data-entity-uuid="f1b7001d-7665-4ad2-a88c-5522a29db3f6" data-langcode="en"> <article> <div class="field field--name-field-media-image field--type-image field--label-hidden field__item"> <img height="492" src="/sites/default/files/2020-02/copyrightaims_creditjamesgilmour_heatstressexperiment2_800px.jpg" typeof="foaf:Image" width="800" /> </div> </article> </div> <figcaption>The SeaSim in a box uses technology from the National Sea Simulator, allowing scientists to conduct high tech experiments at sea. Photo: James Gilmour</figcaption> </figure> <p><span><span><a href="https://www.aims.gov.au/our-people/dr-line-bay">AIMS Senior Research Scientist Dr Line Bay</a> is using the technology on the Great Barrier Reef, and said the idea was to use a standard test to get a snap-shot of corals’ bleaching tolerance. </span></span></p> <p><span><span>“These on-board aquaria will allow us to test corals across vast geographical scales and collect samples from corals that we know have been impacted by bleaching events, or are in naturally warmer waters and thus more heat-tolerant corals,” Dr Bay said. </span></span></p> <p><span><span><a href="https://www.aims.gov.au/coral-bleaching">Bleaching</a> is coral’s stress reaction to prolonged exposure to higher sea surface temperatures.</span></span></p> <p><span><span><a href="https://www.aims.gov.au/our-people/dr-james-gilmour">AIMS coral ecologist Dr James Gilmour</a> said those corals with heat resistant genes could serve as stocks for future efforts to help coral reefs adapt to climate change. For this, AIMS scientists also study the heat tested corals’ genomes.</span></span></p> <p><span><span>“We are testing the theory that corals naturally exposed to higher and more variable temperatures on the reef use their genes to cope with extreme water temperatures during times of coral bleaching,” Dr Gilmour said. </span></span></p> <figure role="group" class="embedded-entity align-center"> <div data-embed-button="media_entity_embed" data-entity-embed-display="view_mode:media.embed" data-entity-type="media" data-entity-uuid="6077cd58-2349-4838-ba3c-661152a1ba76" data-langcode="en"> <article> <div class="field field--name-field-media-image field--type-image field--label-hidden field__item"> <img height="600" src="/sites/default/files/2020-02/copyrightaims_creditjamesgilmour_heatstressexperiment_800px.jpg" typeof="foaf:Image" width="800" /> </div> </article> </div> <figcaption>The SeaSim in a box is testing the capacity of different corals to withstand higher temperatures while in the field.</figcaption> </figure> <p><span><span>“This Seasim-in-a-box technology can be taken to reefs around Australia to test different corals’ capacity to withstand future climate conditions to deliver cutting-edge information needed to support conventional and new management actions into the future.” Dr Gilmour said.</span></span></p> <p><span><span>Find out more about <span class="MsoHyperlink"><u><a href="https://www.aims.gov.au/seasim">AIMS' National Sea Simulator</a></u></span>.</span></span></p> <p><a href="https://www.aims.gov.au/sites/default/files/2020-02/High-tech%20lab%20goes%20to%20sea_AIMS.pdf">Download media release here</a> (PDF | 119KB)</p> <p><span><span><strong>Media Footage</strong> <br /> <span class="MsoHyperlink"><u><a href="https://cloudstor.aarnet.edu.au/plus/s/uYFWu8SHAVgGmpx">https://cloudstor.aarnet.edu.au/plus/s/uYFWu8SHAVgGmpx</a></u></span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><strong>Media Contact</strong></span></span><br /> <span><span>Australian Institute of Marine Science – Media Officer Emma Chadwick </span></span><br /> <span><span>Mobile: 0412 181 919 or<br /> Email: <a href="mailto:e.chadwick@aims.gov.au">e.chadwick@aims.gov.au</a></span></span></p> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-news-categories field--type-entity-reference field--label-above"> <div class="position-above">Categories</div> <ul class="au-tags"> <li><a href="/taxonomy/term/2" hreflang="en">Latest releases</a></li> </ul> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-media-release-type field--type-list-string field--label-above"> <div class="position-above">Media Release Type</div> <ul class="au-tags"> <li>Media Release</li> </ul> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-featured-image field--type-entity-reference field--label-above"> <div class="field__label">Featured image</div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/media/5010/edit" hreflang="en">copyrightaims_creditjamesgilmour_heatstressexperiment4_800px.jpg</a></div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-thumbnail field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field__item"><article> <div class="field field--name-field-media-image field--type-image field--label-hidden field__item"> <img src="/sites/default/files/2020-02/copyrightaims_creditjamesgilmour_heatstressexperiment4_800px.jpg" width="800" height="533" typeof="foaf:Image" /> </div> </article> </div> Mon, 10 Feb 2020 02:45:26 +0000 kate 3678 at https://www.aims.gov.au Sharp increase in Ningaloo whale shark injuries might be due to boat encounters https://www.aims.gov.au/news-and-media/sharp-increase-ningaloo-whale-shark-injuries-might-be-due-boat-encounters <h1 class="au-header-heading">Sharp increase in Ningaloo whale shark injuries might be due to boat encounters</h1> <span><span lang="" about="/user/5" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">kate</span></span> <span>Fri, 2020-01-24 06:00</span> <div class="field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field__item"><p><span><span><span><strong><span><span><span>Scarring and major lacerations due to vessel collisions becoming more common, study finds.</span></span></span></strong></span></span></span><br />  </p> <div data-embed-button="media_entity_embed" data-entity-embed-display="view_mode:media.embed" data-entity-type="media" data-entity-uuid="807b409f-5da3-4b7e-bb8e-a800677c0ecf" data-langcode="en" class="embedded-entity"> <article> <div class="field field--name-field-media-image field--type-image field--label-hidden field__item"> <img src="/sites/default/files/2020-01/whaleshark_tailscar_web.jpg" width="760" height="570" typeof="foaf:Image" /> </div> </article> </div> <blockquote><p>The tail of a whale shark (Rhincodon typus), showing massive scarring. Image: Jess Hadden.</p> </blockquote> <p><span><span><span><span><span><span>Almost one-fifth of the whale sharks (<em><span><span>Rhincodon typus</span></span></em><span><span>) </span></span>in Western Australia’s Ningaloo Reef Marine Park show major scarring or fin amputations, with the number of injured animals increasing in recent years, new research reveals.</span></span></span></span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><span><span><span><span>Distinctive scar patterns strongly suggest many of the injuries are caused by boat collisions, says whale shark scientist </span></span></span><span lang="EN-GB" xml:lang="EN-GB" xml:lang="EN-GB"><span><span>Emily Lester <a id="_Hlk26940356" name="_Hlk26940356">from the Australian Institute of Marine Science (AIMS).</a></span></span></span></span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><span><span lang="EN-GB" xml:lang="EN-GB" xml:lang="EN-GB"><span><span>To make the finding, Ms Lester, a PhD candidate at the University of Western Australia (UWA), and colleagues from AIMS and </span></span></span><span><span><span>the Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions (DBCA), </span></span></span><span lang="EN-GB" xml:lang="EN-GB" xml:lang="EN-GB"><span><span>reviewed still and moving images of 913 whale sharks taken by Ningaloo tour boat operators between 2008 and 2013. </span></span></span></span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><span><span><span><span>Of these, 146 or about 16% showed some form of serious injury.</span></span></span></span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><span><span><span><span>“Some of the major scars were probably bite marks from predators, but most were the marks of blunt trauma, lacerations or amputations arising from encounters with ships, particularly propellers,” Ms Lester said.</span></span></span></span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><span><span><span><span>Whale shark diving is an important part of the Western Australian tourism industry, delivering an estimated at $12.5 million in economic activity for the Ningaloo Reef region.</span></span></span></span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><span><span><span><span>However, because the species swim for thousands of kilometres beyond the marine park boundaries exactly where the injuries were sustained is unknown.</span></span></span></span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><span><span><span><span>“Mitigating the impact of scarring from vessel collisions is challenging, particularly outside of our jurisdiction of State waters,” said DBCA research scientist and co-author Dr Holly Raudino. </span></span></span></span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><span><span><span><span>The results of the research show injuries recorded during 2012 and 2013 almost doubled compared to 2011.</span></span></span></span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><span><span><span><span>“One possible explanation is that there is an increase in shipping activity throughout the whale sharks’ range – inside Ningaloo and out – and collisions are becoming more frequent,” said Ms Lester.</span></span></span></span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><span><span><span><span>The data in the study cannot reveal the number of fatal ship collisions, because whale sharks are ‘negatively buoyant’, meaning that when they die they sink to the ocean floor.</span></span></span></span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><span><span><span><span>“A  collision between a large ocean-going vessel  and a whale shark wouldn’t be felt by the ship, as a result, it’s likely that we’re underestimating the number of mortalities from ship strike, since our study could only document sharks that survived their injuries,” Ms Lester said.</span></span></span></span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><span><span><span><span>Dr Raudino, whose expertise is marine fauna, added that the first step in reducing these interactions would be by “identifying hotspots of where these collisions are occurring through spatial modelling”. </span></span></span></span></span></span></p> <div> <p><span><span><span><span><span><span>The </span></span></span><a href="https://doi.org/10.3354/meps13173"><span><span><span>research is published</span></span></span></a><span><span><span> in the </span></span></span><a href="https://www.int-res.com/journals/meps/meps-home/"><em><span><span><span>Marine Ecology Progress</span></span></span></em><span><span><span> <em>Series</em></span></span></span></a><span><span><span>.</span></span></span></span></span></span><br />  </p> <div data-embed-button="media_entity_embed" data-entity-embed-display="view_mode:media.embed" data-entity-type="media" data-entity-uuid="7762fe0c-695b-4a05-a081-c048ab1a747b" data-langcode="en" class="embedded-entity"> <article> <div class="field field--name-field-media-image field--type-image field--label-hidden field__item"> <img src="/sites/default/files/2020-01/whale_shark_1.gif" width="600" height="338" typeof="foaf:Image" /> </div> </article> </div> <blockquote><p>B-roll footage at <a href="https://cloudstor.aarnet.edu.au/plus/s/3EOEIlsEJCBBXfk">https://cloudstor.aarnet.edu.au/plus/s/3EOEIlsEJCBBXfk</a><br /> Credit: Australian Institute of Marine Science</p> </blockquote> <p><span><span><span><strong><span><span><span>Media contacts:</span></span></span></strong></span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><span><span><span><span>Emily Lester, Australian Institute of Marine Science: </span></span></span><span><span><span>+61 456 387 038;  </span></span></span><a href="mailto:emily.lester@research.uwa.edu.au"><span><span><span>emily.lester@research.uwa.edu.au</span></span></span></a><span><span><span> (UTC+8)</span></span></span></span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><span><span><span><span>John Liston, Australian Institute of Marine Science: +</span></span></span><span><span><span>61 407 102 684; </span></span></span><a href="mailto:j.liston@aims.gov.au"><span><span><span><span><span>j.liston@aims.gov.au</span></span></span></span></span></a><span><span><span> (UTC+8)</span></span></span></span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><span><strong><span><span><span>Further assistance:</span></span></span></strong></span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><span><span><span><span>Andrew Masterson, Science in Public: +61 488 777 179; </span></span></span><a href="mailto:andrew@scienceinpublic.com.au"><span><span><span>andrew@scienceinpublic.com.au</span></span></span></a><span><span><span> (UTC+11)</span></span></span></span></span></span></p> <p><a href="/sites/default/files/2020-01/Whale shark presser FINAL 07012020.pdf"><span><span><span><span><span><span>PDF download</span></span></span></span></span></span></a></p> </div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-news-categories field--type-entity-reference field--label-above"> <div class="position-above">Categories</div> <ul class="au-tags"> <li><a href="/taxonomy/term/2" hreflang="en">Latest releases</a></li> </ul> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-media-release-type field--type-list-string field--label-above"> <div class="position-above">Media Release Type</div> <ul class="au-tags"> <li>Media Release</li> </ul> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-thumbnail field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field__item"><article> <div class="field field--name-field-media-image field--type-image field--label-hidden field__item"> <img src="/sites/default/files/2020-01/whaleshark_tailscar_web.jpg" width="760" height="570" typeof="foaf:Image" /> </div> </article> </div> Thu, 23 Jan 2020 19:00:00 +0000 kate 3670 at https://www.aims.gov.au Rare marine creature discovered in Australian waters https://www.aims.gov.au/news-and-media/rare-marine-creature-discovered-australian-waters <h1 class="au-header-heading">Rare marine creature discovered in Australian waters</h1> <span><span lang="" about="/user/5" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">kate</span></span> <span>Thu, 2020-01-16 09:09</span> <div class="field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field__item"><p>A team of researchers from the Australian Institute of Marine Science (AIMS) has discovered a population of rare benthic siphonophores, in Western Australian waters.</p> <p>A field of the fragile cnidarians, a relative of sea anemones and jellyfish, was found during a study of an ancient 17,000-year-old WA coastline, which is now 125m underwater.<br />  </p> <div data-embed-button="media_entity_embed" data-entity-embed-display="view_mode:media.embed" data-entity-type="media" data-entity-uuid="bcc6f1eb-9eb8-427f-8954-8a61e86ef672" data-langcode="en" class="embedded-entity align-center"> <article> <div class="field field--name-field-media-oembed-video field--type-string field--label-hidden field__item"> <iframe src="/media/oembed?url=https%3A//youtu.be/gJAGV3mG5y0&amp;max_width=0&amp;max_height=0&amp;hash=Lv4QnfwRaKh8k7ml4iafXs7--rdh5rKUjzXtBsreQpA" frameborder="0" allowtransparency="" width="480" height="270" class="media-oembed-content" title="An exciting discovery in the depths of the Kimberley Marine Park"></iframe></div> </article> </div> <p>Australian Institute of Marine Science project leader <a data-entity-type="node" data-entity-uuid="a51c7e7f-6180-438d-9710-1695cfc3cf7b" href="/node/3522">Dr Karen Miller</a> was heading the expedition onboard the <a data-entity-type="node" data-entity-uuid="d0405cdf-2672-4331-a5f4-514cbc968b09" href="/node/2775">AIMS Research Vessel (RV) Solander</a> when her team made the surprising discovery.</p> <p>“We were undertaking <a data-entity-type="node" data-entity-uuid="dbbed87a-a35c-4534-8707-8f696900a4e2" href="/node/2776">towed video surveys</a> to characterise the seabed biodiversity on the <a data-entity-type="node" data-entity-uuid="0f1224ad-8d3e-47ae-bf27-7dcfca128d24" href="/node/2907">Ancient Coastline Key Ecological Feature</a> in the <a href="https://atlas.parksaustralia.gov.au/exciting-discovery-kimberley-marine-park">Kimberley Marine Park</a>, when we noticed lots of what looked like “pom poms” seemingly floating just above the seabed,” Dr Miller said.</p> <p>“On closer inspection of high-resolution images, we realised what we were seeing were fields of benthic siphonophores.</p> <p>“As far as we know, there have been no other benthic siphonophores recorded in Western Australian waters, and the only other reported observation in Australia was in the Great Australian Bight.</p> <p>“These creatures are generally found in deep water down to 3000m, and are rarely ever seen; hence why our observation in depths of 100m to 150m is so exciting.”</p> <figure role="group" class="embedded-entity align-center"> <div data-embed-button="media_entity_embed" data-entity-embed-display="entity_reference:media_thumbnail" data-entity-embed-display-settings="landscape" data-entity-type="media" data-entity-uuid="4b47c836-6299-4637-9449-b04dfcf82ba5" data-langcode="en"> <img height="337" src="/sites/default/files/styles/landscape/public/2020-01/p1370221_trip-6997_kef_area-5_tow-37_adjusted1.jpg?h=c44fcfa1&amp;itok=cMe629la" typeof="foaf:Image" width="600" /> </div> <figcaption>A siphonophore photographed near the sea floor in Kimberley Marine Park, WA</figcaption> </figure> <p>Dr Miller said the discovery emphasised how little is known about these marine ecosystems, and the importance of protecting undiscovered biodiversity.</p> <p>“The ancient coastline is thought to provide crucial habitat for sponges, corals, crinoids, molluscs, echinoderms and other invertebrates, particularly where it emerges as rocky outcrops in a surrounding environment dominated by soft sediments,” Dr Miller said.</p> <p>“We have been working with an international taxonomist and we think these siphonophores are likely to be a species of <em>Archangelopsis</em>, although they are very hard to identify from pictures and video alone.</p> <p>“To properly identify this species we will need to collect specimens and work with international taxonomists to determine if it is a new species, or one that is known from other oceans.”</p> <p>This will be a challenge for researchers, since collecting samples of such fragile animals from depths over 100m will require specialised equipment.</p> <p>In the meantime, AIMS researchers will be on the look out for more benthic siphonophores on the northwest shelf and in Australian marine parks.</p> <p>Dr Miller said less than 25 per cent of Australia’s Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) has been mapped, and there is a great need for further baseline biodiversity surveys, in order to better understand the values within marine parks and to protect their unique features.</p> <p>Find out more about these marine animals at the Australian Marine Parks Atlas: <span class="MsoHyperlink"><u><a href="https://atlas.parksaustralia.gov.au/exciting-discovery-kimberley-marine-park?rsid=27184&amp;featureId=AMP_NW_KIM">https://atlas.parksaustralia.gov.au/exciting-discovery-kimberley-marine-park</a></u></span></p> <p>Unique footage of the benthic siphonophores in WA: <span class="MsoHyperlink"><u><a href="https://cloudstor.aarnet.edu.au/plus/s/ZnOtswBmTnipDIk">https://cloudstor.aarnet.edu.au/plus/s/ZnOtswBmTnipDIk</a></u></span></p> <p><strong>Media Contact</strong></p> <p>Australian Institute of Marine Science<br /> Media Officer Emma Chadwick<br /> Mobile: 0412 181 919  or  Email: <a href="mailto:e.chadwick@aims.gov.au">e.chadwick@aims.gov.au</a></p> <p><a href="https://www.aims.gov.au/sites/default/files/2020-01/Benthic%20Siphonophores%20discovery%20Media%20Release.pdf">PDF download</a></p> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-news-categories field--type-entity-reference field--label-above"> <div class="position-above">Categories</div> <ul class="au-tags"> <li><a href="/taxonomy/term/2" hreflang="en">Latest releases</a></li> </ul> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-media-release-type field--type-list-string field--label-above"> <div class="position-above">Media Release Type</div> <ul class="au-tags"> <li>Media Release</li> </ul> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-thumbnail field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field__item"><article> <div class="field field--name-field-media-image field--type-image field--label-hidden field__item"> <img src="/sites/default/files/2020-01/fapp_2.jpg" width="1064" height="624" alt="Round marine creature lit against the sandy sea floor" typeof="foaf:Image" /> </div> </article> </div> Wed, 15 Jan 2020 22:09:48 +0000 kate 3669 at https://www.aims.gov.au Leaders meet at AIMS to discuss solutions for world’s coral reefs https://www.aims.gov.au/news-and-media/leaders-meet-aims-discuss-solutions-worlds-coral-reefs <h1 class="au-header-heading">Leaders meet at AIMS to discuss solutions for world’s coral reefs</h1> <span><span lang="" about="/user/5" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">kate</span></span> <span>Thu, 2019-12-19 10:06</span> <div class="field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field__item"><p><span><span><span>The status of the world’s corals reefs was a focus of discussion when the Australian Institute of Marine Science supported the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority in hosting the 34<sup>th</sup> <a href="https://www.icriforum.org/">International Coral Reef Initiative (ICRI)</a> General Meeting in Townsville in early December.</span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><span>AIMS welcomed nearly 80 international participants from science, government, non-government and philanthropic organisations to its research facility at Cape Ferguson and a tour of the <a data-entity-type="node" data-entity-uuid="882feff6-2ca4-429a-ba66-22f83240a474" href="/node/2821">AIMS Research Vessel Cape Ferguson</a> as part of the week-long meeting. </span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><span>AIMS Executive Director of Strategic Development David Mead said</span><span> the partnership strives to preserve coral reefs and related marine ecosystems around the world.</span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><span>“Long-term monitoring of coral reefs around the world show they are threatened by human-made impacts such as climate change, overfishing and pollution. </span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><span>“It is a privilege for AIMS to host the ICRI members, to share ideas from around the globe to improve monitoring efforts, and discuss solutions, including reef restoration, to ensure their protection,” Mr Mead said.</span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><span>AIMS is a pivotal member of ICRI, and has recently resumed its role co-ordinating and hosting the <a href="https://gcrmn.net/">Global Coral Reef Monitoring Network (GCRMN)</a>. The GCRMN was first established by ICRI in 1995, and provides the best available scientific information on, and communication of, the status and trends of coral reef ecosystems. </span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><span>AIMS Chief Research Officer and GCRMN international co-ordinator, Dr David Souter, said the network is working towards the production of the <em>Status of the Coral Reefs of the World</em> report, due for release in mid-2020.</span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><span>“Coral reefs around the world are facing a difficult future. Up-to-date information on the health of reefs and how that is changing over time is essential for their conservation and management,” Dr Souter said. </span></span></span></p> <p><span><span>“The <em>Status of the Coral Reefs of the World </em>report will bring the latest status of and trends in the condition of coral reefs worldwide together, for high-level policy makers within governments and the United Nations, and provide a foundation for reporting progress against UN Sustainable Development Goals.”</span></span><br />  </p> <div data-embed-button="media_entity_embed" data-entity-embed-display="view_mode:media.embed" data-entity-type="media" data-entity-uuid="ce99e56f-88ab-4744-9b6d-9fddec43f57d" data-langcode="en" class="embedded-entity"> <article> <div class="field field--name-field-media-image field--type-image field--label-hidden field__item"> <img src="/sites/default/files/2019-12/2019_icri-0036_1050px.jpg" width="1200" height="800" typeof="foaf:Image" /> </div> </article> </div> <blockquote><p><span><span><span>Left to right: </span>Teresa Sadkowsky (GBRMPA), John Baldwin (past GBRMPA staff), Margaret Johnson (GBRMPA), David Souter (AIMS), Amanda Brigdale (DFAT), Ben Palmer (GBRMPA) <span>at the ICRI General meeting in Townsville. Image courtesy of GBRMPA.</span></span></span></p> </blockquote> <p><span><span><span>Other projects discussed with participants at AIMS this week, included the latest coral reef monitoring technology developments such as the `Reef Cloud’ monitoring system which uses artificial intelligence, and advances in reef restoration.</span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><span><span><span>Australia, Monaco and Indonesia currently co-chair the Secretariat of ICRI until mid-2020.</span></span></span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><em><span><span><span>Featured image: Attendees enjoy a tour of the <a data-entity-type="node" data-entity-uuid="a8220bbc-28b8-4a4b-9d64-4096cf4c193c" href="/node/2707">National Sea Simulator</a> during the </span></span></span></em><em><span>34<sup>th</sup> International Coral Reef Initiative (ICRI) General Meeting in Townsville in early December</span></em></span></span></p> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-news-categories field--type-entity-reference field--label-above"> <div class="position-above">Categories</div> <ul class="au-tags"> <li><a href="/taxonomy/term/1" hreflang="en">Latest news</a></li> </ul> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-media-release-type field--type-list-string field--label-above"> <div class="position-above">Media Release Type</div> <ul class="au-tags"> <li>News</li> </ul> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-featured-image field--type-entity-reference field--label-above"> <div class="field__label">Featured image</div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/media/4935/edit" hreflang="en">ICRI attendees in SeaSim_Dec 2019</a></div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-thumbnail field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field__item"><article> <div class="field field--name-field-media-image field--type-image field--label-hidden field__item"> <img src="/sites/default/files/2019-12/0f8a5664_1050px.jpg" width="1200" height="800" alt="3 people looking at large marine aquarium" typeof="foaf:Image" /> </div> </article> </div> Wed, 18 Dec 2019 23:06:11 +0000 kate 3662 at https://www.aims.gov.au Sea country mapping kicks off two-way knowledge sharing in the Keppels https://www.aims.gov.au/news-and-media/sea-country-mapping-kicks-two-way-knowledge-sharing-keppels <h1 class="au-header-heading">Sea country mapping kicks off two-way knowledge sharing in the Keppels</h1> <span><span lang="" about="/user/5" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">kate</span></span> <span>Tue, 2019-12-10 10:29</span> <div class="field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field__item"><p>The Australian Institute of Marine Science and the Keppel Island’s Traditional Owners have begun a partnership to map traditional and scientific knowledge of the marine environment and bring new skills to the region.</p> <p>Up to 50 Traditional Owners representing all six Woppaburra families have today returned to North Keppel Island (Konomie) to work with AIMS researchers.</p> <p>AIMS Indigenous Engagement Co-ordinator, Cultural Advisor, and Woppaburra elder Mr Bob Muir said for some of the Traditional Owners, especially the younger family members, it would be their first opportunity to be on their country.</p> <p>“As Woppaburra descendants we have actively maintained our cultural connections and responsibilities to land and sea country,” Mr Muir said.</p> <p>“This collaboration will help strengthen our spiritual connections and inform management of our land and sea country for future generations.</p> <p>“By working together with AIMS, we can also fulfil our obligation to preserve and maintain species and habitats including sea grasses, coral reefs and marine animals including the humpback whale, the spiritual saltwater totem for the Woppaburra people.”</p> <figure role="group" class="embedded-entity align-center"> <div data-embed-button="media_entity_embed" data-entity-embed-display="entity_reference:media_thumbnail" data-entity-type="media" data-entity-uuid="a7f42f23-5816-4033-b379-8c44b2339305" data-langcode="en"> <img alt="Woppaburra elder Bob Muir on beach" height="676" src="/sites/default/files/2019-12/CopyrightAIMS_BobMuir_CreditMarieRoman%20%281%29_1050px.jpg" typeof="foaf:Image" width="1200" /> </div> <figcaption>AIMS Indigenous Engagement Co-ordinator, Cultural Advisor, and Woppaburra elder Mr Bob Muir</figcaption> </figure> <p>AIMS marine scientist <a data-entity-type="node" data-entity-uuid="6a7f717a-c953-489d-9e3f-e6e934aa27c6" href="/node/3502">Libby Evans-Illidge</a> said the marine environment around the Keppel Islands supported vibrant and diverse coral reef communities, but these were also facing threats from warming, floods, cyclones and other human pressures.</p> <p>“This project is a great example of making genuine partnerships with the Traditional Owners of the sea country where AIMS does research,” Ms Evans-Illidge said.</p> <p>“Our researchers will spend the next week being guided by the Traditional Owners, to identify and document areas of special significance and determine the priorities and study locations for future research.”</p> <p>“Protecting the Great Barrier Reef and the benefits it provides, requires management that uses traditional ecological knowledge, science and new approaches, and technologies.”</p> <p>This project has been facilitated by the Woppaburra Traditional Use of Marine Resource Agreement (TUMRA) Steering Committee. In 2014 the Woppaburra people adopted the formal management arrangement with the <a href="www.gbrmpa.gov.au">Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority</a> that empowers them to develop and implement sea country research and management initiatives.</p> <p><em>Featured image: AIMS Indigenous Partnerships Coordinator </em>T<em>raceylee Forester, <span><span>Joshua, a Woppaburra man from Aurukun in Cape York and AIMS scientist Dr Carly Randall at North Keppel Island earlier this week.</span></span></em></p> <p><a href="https://www.aims.gov.au/sites/default/files/2019-12/Sea%20country%20mapping%20on%20Keppels%20Media%20Release.pdf">PDF | 124KB</a></p> <p><strong>Media Contact:</strong><br /> Australian Institute of Marine Science<br /> Media officer Emma Chadwick: 0412 181 919 or <a href="e.chadwick@aims.gov.au">e.chadwick@aims.gov.au</a></p> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-news-categories field--type-entity-reference field--label-above"> <div class="position-above">Categories</div> <ul class="au-tags"> <li><a href="/taxonomy/term/2" hreflang="en">Latest releases</a></li> </ul> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-media-release-type field--type-list-string field--label-above"> <div class="position-above">Media Release Type</div> <ul class="au-tags"> <li>Media Release</li> </ul> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-featured-image field--type-entity-reference field--label-above"> <div class="field__label">Featured image</div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/media/4925/edit" hreflang="en">Keppels launch, Traceylee, Carly and Josh</a></div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-thumbnail field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field__item"><article> <div class="field field--name-field-media-image field--type-image field--label-hidden field__item"> <img src="/sites/default/files/2019-12/dsc_0093_1050px.jpg" width="1200" height="798" alt="AIMS scientists with Traditional Owner with reef shapes" typeof="foaf:Image" /> </div> </article> </div> Mon, 09 Dec 2019 23:29:59 +0000 kate 3661 at https://www.aims.gov.au When reefs decline, parrotfish thrive https://www.aims.gov.au/news-and-media/when-reefs-decline-parrotfish-thrive <h1 class="au-header-heading">When reefs decline, parrotfish thrive</h1> <span><span lang="" about="/user/5" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">kate</span></span> <span>Mon, 2019-12-02 11:23</span> <div class="field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field__item"><p>In contrast to most other species, reef-dwelling parrotfish populations boom in the wake of severe coral bleaching.</p> <p>The surprise finding came when researchers led by Dr Brett Taylor of the Australian Institute of Marine Science (AIMS) looked at fish populations in severely bleached areas of two reefs – the Great Barrier Reef in the western Pacific and the Chagos Archipelago in the Indian Ocean.</p> <p>The sites are 8000 kilometres apart.</p> <p>Bleaching is coral’s stress reaction to prolonged exposure to higher sea surface temperatures.</p> <p>“Warming oceans place enormous pressure on reefs and if the temperatures remain high for too long the coral will die. The more frequently this occurs there is less time for coral reefs to recover,” Dr Taylor said.</p> <p>In the damaged areas of the reefs, the study found that parrotfish populations increased in number by between two and eight times, and individual fish were about 20% larger than those in unbleached sections.</p> <p>Almost every other species of fish was in sharp decline in the bleached areas.</p> <p>Parrotfish, named because of their tightly packed teeth in a beak formation, use their teeth to scrape microorganisms off coral – and their presence in large numbers on damaged reefs very likely helps the process of repair, Taylor and his colleagues suggest.</p> <p>“When bleaching reduces coral cover on the reefs, it creates large areas of newly barren surfaces,” Taylor said.</p> <p>“This immediately gets colonised by the microalgae and cyanobacteria, basically an internal and external layer of ‘scunge’, which provides nutritious, abundant food for parrotfish.”</p> <p>The researchers concluded that the coral and the parrotfish constitute a feedback loop, slowly bringing each other into balance. When reefs are damaged, parrotfish numbers swell. This results in low levels of scunge, giving the coral the best chance to recover. As the reef then returns to health, parrotfish numbers decline again.</p> <p>“We found reef ecosystems in two different oceans had the same response to global heat events which is indicative of the current magnitude of climate change effects,” he said.</p> <p>The fact that plump parrotfish were found in large numbers on both reefs indicates the feedback loop is an inherent part of reef ecology and not caused by local factors.</p> <p>“Parrotfish are a vital link in the reef ecosystem,” says AIMS co-author <a data-entity-type="node" data-entity-uuid="24fa5d65-2b29-4599-b5cb-a91e738914a9" href="/node/3488">Dr Mark Meekan</a>.</p> <p>“As herbivores, their grazing shapes the structure of reefs through effects on coral growth and suppression of algae that would otherwise proliferate. Because of these important ecological roles, they have been described as ‘ecosystem engineers’ of reef systems.”</p> <p>As well as AIMS, scientists working on the project came from James Cook University in Australia, the University of Auckland in New Zealand, and the University of Lancaster in the UK.</p> <p>The research is published in the journal <a href="https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/gcb.14909">Global Change Biology</a>.</p> <p>Feature Image credit: Kendall Clements</p> <p><a href="https://www.aims.gov.au/sites/default/files/2019-12/Parrotfish%20media%20release%20AIMS%20021219.pdf">Download media release here</a></p> <p><strong>Further information:</strong><br /> Dr Brett Taylor is available for interview: <a href="mailto:b.taylor@aims.gov.au">b.taylor@aims.gov.au</a>; 0478 584 215; time zone UTC +8<br /> Dr Mark Meekan is available for interview: <a href="mailto:m.meekan@aims.gov.au">m.meekan@aims.gov.au</a>; 0 429101812; time zone UTC +8<br /> Andrew Masterson: <a href="mailto:andrew@scienceinpublic.com.au">andrew@scienceinpublic.com.au</a>; 0488 777 179; time zone UTC +10</p> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-news-categories field--type-entity-reference field--label-above"> <div class="position-above">Categories</div> <ul class="au-tags"> <li><a href="/taxonomy/term/2" hreflang="en">Latest releases</a></li> </ul> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-media-release-type field--type-list-string field--label-above"> <div class="position-above">Media Release Type</div> <ul class="au-tags"> <li>Media Release</li> </ul> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-featured-image field--type-entity-reference field--label-above"> <div class="field__label">Featured image</div> <div class="field__item"><a href="/media/4905/edit" hreflang="en">Parrotfish on reef Image Kendall Clements</a></div> </div> <div class="field field--name-field-thumbnail field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field__item"><article> <div class="field field--name-field-media-image field--type-image field--label-hidden field__item"> <img src="/sites/default/files/2019-12/kendall_clements_002_edit.jpg" width="2472" height="1446" alt="parrotfish eats of the surface of a coral reefs" typeof="foaf:Image" /> </div> </article> </div> Mon, 02 Dec 2019 00:23:36 +0000 kate 3655 at https://www.aims.gov.au