Latest News https://www.aims.gov.au/ en Reef snapshot 2020-21 released: relief for the Great Barrier Reef this summer https://www.aims.gov.au/news-and-media/reef-snapshot-2020-21-released-relief-great-barrier-reef-summer <h1 class="au-header-heading">Reef snapshot 2020-21 released: relief for the Great Barrier Reef this summer</h1> <span><span lang="" about="/user/5" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">kate</span></span> <span>Tue, 2021-04-27 13:38</span> <div class="field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field__item"><p class="MsoNoSpacing"><span><span><span lang="EN-US" xml:lang="EN-US" xml:lang="EN-US">The annual <a href="https://hdl.handle.net/11017/3813"><em>Reef snapshot: summer 2020-21</em></a> has been released today by the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority, Australian Institute of Marine Science (AIMS), and CSIRO.</span></span></span></p> <p class="MsoNoSpacing"><span><span><span lang="EN-US" xml:lang="EN-US" xml:lang="EN-US">The snapshot, now in its second year, is a summary of recent summer conditions and coral ‘health’ for different regions of the Reef. It sets the scene for more detailed reports to be released later in 2021, including AIMS’ Annual Summary Report on Coral Reef Condition, based on surveys conducted by AIMS’ Long-term Monitoring Program.</span></span></span></p> <figure role="group" class="align-right"> <div data-embed-button="media_entity_embed" data-entity-embed-display="view_mode:media.embed" data-entity-type="media" data-entity-uuid="79967f5e-e039-4969-a923-e850e94bb95c" 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/2021-04/reefsnapshot_2020-21_title_page.jpg" width="350" height="495" typeof="foaf:Image" /> </div> </article> </div> <figcaption><a href="https://hdl.handle.net/11017/3813">Click to download</a></figcaption> </figure> <p class="paragraph"><span><span><span><span><span>AIMS’ CEO Dr Paul Hardisty said the snapshot reflected a unified view from the three Australian Government agencies. </span></span></span></span></span></p> <p class="paragraph"><span><span><span><span lang="EN-US" xml:lang="EN-US" xml:lang="EN-US"><span>“</span></span><span><span>Through this joint approach we each contribute different capabilities and apply the best available knowledge to ensure a healthy ecosystem for future generations,” Dr Hardisty said.</span></span></span></span></span></p> <p class="paragraph"><span><span><span><span><span>“As the nation’s tropical marine science agency, AIMS brings a range of scientific expertise, including long-term understanding of how disturbances affect the cycles of coral decline and recovery.</span></span></span></span></span></p> <p class="paragraph"><span><span><span><span><span>“This knowledge helps the Marine Park Authority with its ongoing reef management and enables both AIMS and CSIRO to protect coral reefs through reef adaptation and restoration science.” </span></span> </span></span></span></p> <p class="MsoNoSpacing"><span><span><span lang="EN-US" xml:lang="EN-US" xml:lang="EN-US">This year, </span><span lang="EN-US" xml:lang="EN-US" xml:lang="EN-US">mild </span><span lang="EN-US" xml:lang="EN-US" xml:lang="EN-US">conditions during the recent summer months provided an opportunity for recovery for Australia’s best-loved natural icon, the Great Barrier Reef.</span></span></span></p> <p class="MsoNoSpacing"><span><span><span lang="EN-US" xml:lang="EN-US" xml:lang="EN-US">Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority Chief Executive Officer Josh Thomas </span><span>said conditions this summer were relatively uneventful, in a positive way.</span></span></span></p> <p class="MsoNoSpacing"><span><span><span lang="EN-US" xml:lang="EN-US" xml:lang="EN-US">“The 2020-21 summer months were unlike the intense summer periods we have seen over some of the last few years which had mass bleaching and extreme weather — so this is good news for the Reef,” he said.</span></span></span></p> <p class="MsoNoSpacing"><span><span><span lang="EN-US" xml:lang="EN-US" xml:lang="EN-US">“It is very important to put this into context — while conditions certainly provided relief for much of the Reef, this does not mean it is out of the woods as it has experienced a variety of disturbances over the past decade, and global action on climate change remains critical.</span></span></span></p> <p class="MsoNoSpacing"><span><span><span lang="EN-US" xml:lang="EN-US" xml:lang="EN-US">“In-water actions, compliance with zoning rules, crown-of-thorns starfish control, and other Reef interventions are all key in the mix that will give the Reef the best outlook in the long-term. It’s important we don’t take our foot off the pedal.”</span></span></span></p> <p class="MsoNoSpacing"><span><span><span lang="EN-US" xml:lang="EN-US" xml:lang="EN-US">Among the findings from the 2020-21 summer:</span></span></span></p> <ul> <li><span><span><span lang="EN-US" xml:lang="EN-US" xml:lang="EN-US">There were no prolonged high temperature or major cyclone disturbances, and many reefs continued their recovery from past impacts. </span></span></span></li> <li><span><span><span><span><span>Water temperatures did not cause as much coral heat stress as recent years, although all months were warmer than average. </span></span></span></span></span></li> <li><span><span><span><span><span>Cyclone Kimi was the only tropical cyclone that tracked across the Reef, and its potential to cause widespread catastrophic damage to reefs was assessed as very low. </span></span></span></span></span></li> <li><span><span><span><span><span>While there was some good rainfall in the catchment, flood levels in waterways near the Reef were generally not major or sustained.</span></span></span></span></span></li> <li><span><span><span><span><span>Crown-of-thorns starfish remain at outbreak or potential outbreak levels in parts of the northern, central and (particularly) southern regions of the Reef. </span></span><a href="http://www.gbrmpa.gov.au/our-work/our-programs-and-projects/crown-of-thorns-starfish-control-program"><span lang="EN-AU" xml:lang="EN-AU" xml:lang="EN-AU"><span>The Crown-of-thorns Starfish Control Program</span></span></a><span><span> continues to work in all three regions to cull starfish down to non-outbreak levels. </span></span></span></span></span></li> </ul> <p class="paragraph"><span><span><span><span><span><span>Dr Peter Mayfield the Executive Director of Environment, Energy and Resources for CSIRO — Australia’s national science agency — acknowledged the Reef was home to a wealth of marine biodiversity unmatched anywhere in the world. </span></span></span> </span></span></span></p> <p class="paragraph"><span><span><span><span><span>“This <span>international icon is being challenged from human activities both locally and globally, so understanding how we can help restore and adapt the Reef requires the best information and collaborative science,” said Dr Mayfield. </span></span></span> </span></span></span></p> <p class="paragraph"><span><span><span><span><span><span>“This snapshot helps inform us all, as we all have a stake in ensuring the Reef’s future.”</span></span></span> </span></span></span></p> <p><span lang="EN-US" xml:lang="EN-US" xml:lang="EN-US"><span><span>The snapshot is available at </span></span></span><span lang="EN-US" xml:lang="EN-US" xml:lang="EN-US"><span><span><a href="http://www.gbrmpa.gov.au/"><span><span><span><span>www.gbrmpa.gov.au</span></span></span></span></a></span></span></span></p> <figure role="group" class="align-center"> <div data-embed-button="media_entity_embed" data-entity-embed-display="view_mode:media.embed" data-entity-type="media" data-entity-uuid="d6dc436b-4223-4a05-aa33-390e4adf193b" data-langcode="en" class="embedded-entity"> <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/S2nS_I2IsZ0&amp;max_width=560&amp;max_height=315&amp;hash=BRq2hJ8Rxuf6bE7121eIsywVzT6f-8If7mgMgpb7XA0" frameborder="0" allowtransparency="" width="560" height="315" class="media-oembed-content" title="What is the Reef snapshot?"></iframe></div> </article> </div> <figcaption>What is the Reef snapshot?</figcaption> </figure> </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-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/2021-04/dji_0007.jpg" width="400" height="300" alt="coral reef from the air" typeof="foaf:Image" /> </div> </article> </div> Tue, 27 Apr 2021 03:38:05 +0000 kate 3842 at https://www.aims.gov.au “Thought to be lost forever”: locally extinct sea snake re-discovered during deep-sea expedition https://www.aims.gov.au/news-and-media/thought-be-lost-forever-locally-extinct-sea-snake-re-discovered-during-deep-sea-expedition <h1 class="au-header-heading">“Thought to be lost forever”: locally extinct sea snake re-discovered during deep-sea expedition</h1> <span><span lang="" about="/user/5" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">kate</span></span> <span>Wed, 2021-04-21 16:03</span> <div class="field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field__item"><p>For the last 23 years, the short-nosed sea snake was thought extinct at Ashmore Reef – but now this lost species has been found by researchers during a deep-sea expedition, 67m below the ocean surface in the “twilight zone”.</p> <p>The discovery was made last week by a team led by <a data-entity-type="node" data-entity-uuid="a51c7e7f-6180-438d-9710-1695cfc3cf7b" href="/node/3522">Dr Karen Miller</a> from the <a href="https://www.aims.gov.au/news-and-media/exploring-mysterious-depths-ashmore-reef">Australian Institute of Marine Science</a>, with scientists from the Western Australian Museum, Curtin University and University of Western Australia.</p> <p>The researchers are on board <a href="https://schmidtocean.org/cruise/australian-mesophotic-coral-examination/">Schmidt Ocean Institute R/V Falkor</a> – a ship equipped with advanced robotic technologies – and are exploring the mysterious depths of the mesophotic coral reef ecosystem at Ashmore Reef.</p> <p>AIMS’ Dr Karen Miller said the critically endangered short-nosed sea snake (<em>Aipysurus apraefrontalis</em>) has not been sighted at Ashmore Reef since 1998, and marks the discovery as a “second chance” to understand and protect this species.</p> <p>“The short-nosed sea snake was thought to be lost forever from Ashmore – so it truly is a remarkable find, the whole ship of researchers was squealing in excitement,” she said.</p> <p>“We can’t protect species we don’t know are there – this is why this expedition is so important, we’re at depths no-one has explored before, gaining critical knowledge as we uncover Ashmore’s deep-sea secrets.</p> <p>“We suspect the mesophotic coral ecosystem could have significant ecological importance and very well serve as a refuge for species lost from shallow waters, such as sea snakes.”</p> <figure role="group" class="align-center"> <div data-embed-button="media_entity_embed" data-entity-embed-display="view_mode:media.embed" data-entity-type="media" data-entity-uuid="4e87b1e2-e4e3-452c-9adf-b38cdecdd2da" 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/2021-04/copyright_conor_ashleigh_schmidt_ocean_institute8.jpg" width="3030" height="1894" typeof="foaf:Image" /> </div> </article> </div> <figcaption>At the end of Dive 2 (406) on Monday April 12th a short-nosed sea snake or Sahul reef snake and second sea snake species for the day was spotted on Ashmore Reef at 67m. Credit: Conor Ashleigh/ Schmidt Ocean Institute</figcaption> </figure> <p>The short-nosed sea snake is one of four sea snake species discovered during the deep-sea expedition, leaving 13 species still lost from Ashmore Reef’s once thriving sea snake assemblage.</p> <p>Dr Nerida Wilson from the Western Australian Museum, who is also on board the R/V Falkor, said Ashmore Reef, off WA’s north coast, was once the most biodiverse global hotspot for sea snakes.</p> <p>“Over a period of decades, sea snakes have mysteriously disappeared from the shallow waters of Ashmore Reef,” she said.</p> <p>“This discovery shows that we have so much more to learn about the twilight zone, and we are hopeful to find more of Ashmore’s lost sea snake species.”</p> <p>The short-nosed sea snake was thought extinct until populations were discovered in coastal Western Australia by joint AIMS-James Cook University researcher Blanche d’Anastasi and Associate Professor Kate Sanders, from the University of Adelaide.</p> <p>Sea snake scientist Blanche d’Anastasi, who has uncovered critical information about Western Australia’s sea snakes, said research suggests new coastal populations may even represent a separate species.</p> <p>“The re-discovery of the short-nosed sea snake at Ashmore Reef raises big questions,” she said.</p> <p>“Are they part of a breeding population that remained undetected, or are these just straggling individuals that remain following the shallow water extinction event? Are these snakes a different species to the coastal ones? Can we take action to protect them?</p> <p>“I hope this expedition will uncover more secrets about sea snakes – it’s giving us an extraordinary opportunity to use science to inform the protection of these snakes.”</p> <p>Ashmore Reef Marine Park is managed by Parks Australia as a Sanctuary Zone and is afforded Australia’s highest level of marine protection, where no extractive activities are allowed.</p> <p>Jennifer Hoy, Marine Park Manager at Parks Australia said Australian Marine Parks Branch was excited by the recent discovery of sea snakes in the depths of Ashmore Reef.</p> <p>“This is particularly thrilling as Ashmore Reef Marine Park is one of Australia’s most remote marine parks making it challenging for researchers to access for monitoring and surveying species,” she said.</p> <p>“The discovery of the short-nosed sea snake gives us hope that the AIMS team may come across even more sea snake species within the marine park.</p> <p>“It highlights the importance of our work in investing in research to enhance our understanding of marine park values and protection of the marine environment.”</p> <p>The R/V Falkor is equipped with advanced robotic diving technologies, including the remotely operated underwater vehicle <a href="https://schmidtocean.org/rov-subastian-status/">SuBastian</a>, which has allowed the team to explore these remarkable new territories.</p> <p>Schmidt Ocean Institute live streams all of their dives on <a href="https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC1m5LdKP0m64n8nY3NhK6Zg">YouTube</a> and <a href="https://www.facebook.com/SchmidtOcean/">Facebook.</a> This is their last expedition in Australia after more than a year-long campaign that has led to numerous discoveries that can be <a href="https://2020annualreport.schmidtocean.org/landing/">found here</a>.</p> <p><a href="https://www.aims.gov.au/sites/default/files/2021-04/AIMS_Short%20nosed%20sea%20snake%20rediscovered%20at%20Ashmore%20Reef_April2021.pdf">Download | 232KB</a></p> <p><strong>For media enquiries</strong><br /> <a href="mailto:media@aims.gov.au">media@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/5431/edit" hreflang="en">ShortnosedSeaSnake_SchmidtOceansInsittute_ConorAshleigh_1</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/2021-04/shortnosedseasnakecopyright_conor_ashleigh_schmidt_ocean_institute_800px.jpg" width="800" height="500" alt="seasnake on sand underwater" typeof="foaf:Image" /> </div> </article> </div> Wed, 21 Apr 2021 06:03:33 +0000 kate 3836 at https://www.aims.gov.au Exploring the mysterious depths of Ashmore Reef https://www.aims.gov.au/news-and-media/exploring-mysterious-depths-ashmore-reef <h1 class="au-header-heading">Exploring the mysterious depths of Ashmore Reef</h1> <span><span lang="" about="/user/5" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">kate</span></span> <span>Fri, 2021-04-09 08:46</span> <div class="field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field__item"><h2 class="text-align-center">We’re entering a mysterious, deep and dark dimension –<br /> the twilight zone of coral reefs. </h2> <p>A team of eight researchers are embarking on a three-week deep-sea expedition at Ashmore Reef Marine Park, exploring the “unknown and undocumented” mesophotic coral ecosystem. </p> <p>The voyage – on board the <a href="https://schmidtocean.org/cruise/australian-mesophotic-coral-examination/">Schmidt Ocean Institute's</a> <a href="https://schmidtocean.org/rv-falkor/">RV Falkor</a> – is led by Australian Institute of Marine Science’s <a data-entity-type="node" data-entity-uuid="a51c7e7f-6180-438d-9710-1695cfc3cf7b" href="/node/3522">Dr Karen Miller</a> and includes scientists from the University of Western Australia, Curtin University and Western Australia Museum. </p> <p>The team will be exploring Ashmore Reef’s submerged mesophotic coral ecosystems – a place never explored before. </p> <p><a href="https://parksaustralia.gov.au/marine/parks/north-west/ashmore-reef/#map">Ashmore Reef Marine Park</a> is one of 58 offshore Australian Marine Parks managed by Parks Australia. </p> <h3><strong>Stay up-to-date with the expedition with updates from <a href="https://schmidtocean.org/cruise/australian-mesophotic-coral-examination/">Schmidt Oceans Institute</a> and on this page! </strong></h3> <ul> <li>Catch up on the ROV SuBastian videos on <strong><a href="https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLdMemWlcEMFvP3zmyNzfN1DiLdoQ9dLG0">our YouTube playlist</a></strong></li> <li>Watch for highlights on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram by using <strong>#twilightcorals</strong></li> <li>Hear from AIMS expedition lead Dr Karen Miller in this <a href="https://www.abc.net.au/news/2021-04-11/deep-sea-coral-reef-mesophotic-research-australia/100057578"><strong>ABC online article</strong></a></li> </ul> <figure role="group" class="align-center"> <div data-embed-button="media_entity_embed" data-entity-embed-display="view_mode:media.embed" data-entity-type="media" data-entity-uuid="7aaa01ba-c878-4a3f-ad5b-af88aee5ce22" 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/2021-04/copy_of_fk190612-falkor-20190612-dupreez-0502_800px.jpg" width="800" height="450" typeof="foaf:Image" /> </div> </article> </div> <figcaption>Home for the expedition team - RV Falkor. Image courtesy of Schmidt Ocean Institute</figcaption> </figure> <h2>We are entering…the twilight zone </h2> <p>Mesophotic coral ecosystems exist in low light – also known as the twilight zone – and lie between 30 to 150 metres below the surface, between the shallow-water light and the ocean’s deepest darkest depths. </p> <p>These reefs are found around the globe, but little is known or understood about these ecosystems. It’s beyond the depth for scuba divers to explore and, until recently, scientists did not have the technologies to investigate such depths. </p> <p>“What we do know about these reefs is they are an extension of shallow coral ecosystems and are likely to share some species,” Dr Miller said. </p> <p>“But there is a lot of mystery about these reefs, there is a lot to explore – there are a lot of unanswered questions.” </p> <figure role="group" class="align-right"> <div data-embed-button="media_entity_embed" data-entity-embed-display="entity_reference:media_thumbnail" data-entity-embed-display-settings="450_x_450" data-entity-type="media" data-entity-uuid="88dc9a86-5d2c-4adc-a78c-c37decdb607a" data-langcode="en" class="embedded-entity"> <img src="/sites/default/files/styles/450_x_450/public/2021-04/meso_reef_826px_schmidt.jpg?itok=0ssTCkXz" width="450" height="298" typeof="foaf:Image" /> </div> <figcaption>Corals in the mesophotic zone.<br /> Image courtesy Schmidt Ocean Institute</figcaption> </figure> <h4><em>Why explore mesophotic coral ecosystems?</em> </h4> <p>In an era of significant impacts occurring on shallow coral reefs from climate change, exploration of these deeper zones is vital for scientists to understand the ecosystem’s role in supporting tropical and subtropical regions. </p> <p>“Not only do we want to understand these ecosystems, but we want to know how we can most effectively and efficiently monitor the health of these reefs,” she said. </p> <p>“It is thought mesophotic coral ecosystem have significant ecological importance, including the ability to provide a refuge for shallow-water species as well as areas for spawning, breeding, feeding, and growth to maturity. </p> <p>“These deeper reefs could also potentially reseed shallow water corals that are under environmental stress.” </p> <p>AIMS’ strong focus on identifying and filling gaps in knowledge will help better understand the impacts of natural and human pressures on tropical ecosystems. This research will contribute to Parks Australia’s management of Ashmore Reef Marine Park and contribute to the protection of Australia’s offshore marine environment. </p> <h2>The research </h2> <p>The team of scientists will discover critical information about the community structure on mesophotic reefs of north west Australia, including understanding what ocean processes influence biodiversity, geographic distribution, and their connectivity to other coral systems. </p> <p>During the voyage, the team will use underwater robotics and novel imaging technology to capture high resolution video across Ashmore’s mesophotic reef zones.</p> <figure role="group" class="align-center"> <div alt="Crew and scientists stand in a line on the ship RV Falkor's ramp" data-embed-button="media_entity_embed" data-entity-embed-display="view_mode:media.embed" data-entity-type="media" data-entity-uuid="188e6bd2-4247-4275-877d-40a598bef51b" 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/2021-04/falkor_crew_on_ramp_before_departure_9april2021_creditschmidt_800px.jpg" width="800" height="533" alt="Crew and scientists stand in a line on the ship RV Falkor's ramp" typeof="foaf:Image" /> </div> </article> </div> <figcaption>The expedition crew onboard the RV Falkor. Image courtesy Schmidt Ocean Institute</figcaption> </figure> <p>The science team will collect, via RV Falkor’s ROV <a href="https://schmidtocean.org/rov-subastian-status/">SuBastian</a>, biological samples from corals and other marine species. The gathered specimens will help ground-truth the new imaging technique’s capacity for biodiversity studies and taxonomic identification. </p> <p>The new sampling and analysis approaches represent a crucial scientific benchmark enabling future monitoring and standardisation and comparability of mesophotic ecosystems globally. </p> <p>ROV dives will be live-streamed on <a href="https://www.youtube.com/c/SchmidtOcean/videos">Schmidt Ocean Institute’s YouTube channel</a> – allowing the public to explore Ashmore's mesophotic corals for the first time alongside the scientists.</p> <figure role="group" class="align-center"> <div data-embed-button="media_entity_embed" data-entity-embed-display="view_mode:media.embed" data-entity-type="media" data-entity-uuid="9935b159-76e0-4e8a-9c73-0415833fbc10" 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/2021-04/copy_of_fk170825-20170920-ktm-subastian-0100_800px-credit_soi.jpg" width="800" height="533" typeof="foaf:Image" /> </div> </article> </div> <figcaption>ROV SuBastian getting ready to dive from the RV Falkor. Image courtesy Schmidt Ocean Institute</figcaption> </figure> <h2>Why Ashmore Reef Marine Park? </h2> <p><a href="https://parksaustralia.gov.au/marine/parks/north-west/ashmore-reef/">Ashmore Reef Marine Park</a> is one of 58 <a href="https://parksaustralia.gov.au/marine">Australian Marine Parks</a> around the country that help protect the nation’s offshore marine environment.  </p> <p>Located closer to Indonesia than the Australian mainland, its remoteness presents very real challenges for research and management.  </p> <p>The shallow reef systems at Ashmore Reef are fairly well understood and this scientific exploration led by AIMS will help Parks Australia’s management by filling knowledge gaps about reef systems at deep depth ranges. </p> <figure role="group" class="align-center"> <div data-embed-button="media_entity_embed" data-entity-embed-display="view_mode:media.embed" data-entity-type="media" data-entity-uuid="407a4679-6176-46bc-8463-bfb046b90826" 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/2021-04/ashmore_location_map.jpg" width="800" height="566" typeof="foaf:Image" /> </div> </article> </div> <figcaption>Location of Ashmore Reef off the Western Australian coastline</figcaption> </figure> </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/5419/edit" hreflang="en">Mesophotic reef_CreditSOI</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/2021-04/meso2_image_courtesy_of_schmidt_ocean_institute_image_800px.jpg" width="800" height="491" alt="fan corals on a deep reef" typeof="foaf:Image" /> </div> </article> </div> Thu, 08 Apr 2021 22:46:13 +0000 kate 3831 at https://www.aims.gov.au Threatened fish species thrive at Rowley Shoals https://www.aims.gov.au/news-and-media/threatened-fish-species-thrive-rowley-shoals <h1 class="au-header-heading">Threatened fish species thrive at Rowley Shoals </h1> <span><span lang="" about="/user/5" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">kate</span></span> <span>Thu, 2021-04-08 13:02</span> <div class="field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field__item"><p>Globally threatened humphead maori wrasse and bumphead parrotfish are “thriving in abundance” in Western Australia’s Rowley Shoals – an isolated chain of coral atolls closed off from fishing for more than 20 years.  </p> <p>New research, led by the Australian Institute of Marine Science, shows fish diversity and abundance has remained remarkably stable at the Rowley Shoals, indicating marine reserves are hugely beneficial in maintaining fish communities at isolated reefs.   </p> <p>Drawing on 14 years of data from baited remote underwater video stations (<a data-entity-type="node" data-entity-uuid="dbbed87a-a35c-4534-8707-8f696900a4e2" href="/node/2776">BRUVS</a>), the research compared fish species at Rowley Shoals with other remote reefs facing ongoing fishing pressure in northern Western Australia.  </p> <figure role="group" class="align-center"> <div data-embed-button="media_entity_embed" data-entity-embed-display="view_mode:media.embed" data-entity-type="media" data-entity-uuid="6ae96223-d86d-44fe-bad9-6f4cb4edad21" data-langcode="en" class="embedded-entity"> <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/nOdoXv9vxxk&amp;max_width=560&amp;max_height=315&amp;hash=dvgtxQmQHsKJBra9-B5-D6LsLnCXtJsO1SmpIq8hhrk" frameborder="0" allowtransparency="" width="560" height="315" class="media-oembed-content" title="Threatened fish species thrive at Rowley Shoals, Western Australia"></iframe></div> </article> </div> <figcaption>Incredible fish diversity captured by BRUVS at the Rowley Shoals, off the coast of Western Australia</figcaption> </figure> <p>AIMS lead author and fish biologist Matthew Birt said the long-term study was a rare glimpse at how habitats could thrive in a relatively undisturbed state, offering a unique baseline for scientists.   </p> <p>“Rowley Shoals is one of the last coral reef ecosystems left in the Indian Ocean largely spared from human interference,” he said.   </p> <p>“There’s no human population nearby, low visitation rates and – importantly – has large no-take areas that have been enforced for decades.”  </p> <p>Mr Birt said it was encouraging to see the globally threatened humphead maori wrasse (<em>Cheilinus undulatus</em>) and bumphead parrotfish (<em>Bolbometopon muricatum</em>) to also be thriving.  </p> <p>“These species are highly sensitive to fishing pressure because they are large, slow growing and late maturing,” he said.    </p> <p>“Comparably, Ashmore Reef and Christmas Island had no recorded humphead Maori wrasse or bumphead parrotfish – likely a result of historical fishing pressure and a lack of suitable habitat.  </p> <p>“Rowley Shoals is an example of a well-managed marine reserve, with diverse habitat types and low historical fish pressure, making it a unique baseline to compare with other isolated reefs under human pressure. </p> <p>“This research supports effective environmental management to ensure sustainable use and protection of marine ecosystems, and the marine life that depend on it.” </p> <figure role="group" class="align-center"> <div data-embed-button="media_entity_embed" data-entity-embed-display="view_mode:media.embed" data-entity-type="media" data-entity-uuid="03487ac1-24e9-42b9-a9f7-a1e8e3346a22" 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/2021-04/rowley_shoals_bruvs_images.jpg" width="803" height="267" typeof="foaf:Image" /> </div> </article> </div> <figcaption>A tiger shark (Galeocerdo cuvier, left) and maori snapper (Lutjanus rivulatus, right) snapped by baited remote underwater video stations at the Rowley Shoals, off Western Australia</figcaption> </figure> <p>Rowley Shoals is located 270 kilometres off Broome on the edge of Australia's continental shelf and is also known for its pristine and resilient coral reef habitat.   </p> <p>AIMS coral ecologist <a data-entity-type="node" data-entity-uuid="8f6ae276-6d9f-4ff2-9da7-827235299673" href="/node/3509">Dr James Gilmour</a> said it was one of Australia’s healthiest reef systems.  </p> <p>“It's one of the only places in Western Australia with consistently high coral cover and diversity for more than 20 years,” he said.  </p> <p>“It is far from the coastline which means it has excellent water quality and largely free of widescale bleaching events.  </p> <p>“Having diverse and abundant fish on coral reefs also support the resilience of coral reef communities.”  </p> <p>This study was conducted as part of <a data-entity-type="node" data-entity-uuid="3d2bd476-78f8-40e4-a3c7-89e01df6460b" href="/node/2749">AIMS' North West Shoals to Shore Research Program</a> and was supported by Santos as part of the company's commitment to better understanding Western Australia's marine environment. </p> <p>The research paper '<em>Isolated reefs support stable fish communities with high abundances of regionally fished species'</em> was published in the journal <a href="https://doi.org/10.1002/ece3.7370"><em>Ecology and Evolution</em></a>.</p> <p> </p> <p><a href="https://www.aims.gov.au/sites/default/files/2021-04/AIMS%20media%20release_Threatened%20fish%20species%20thrive%20at%20Rowley%20Shoals_April7_2021.pdf">Download | 160KB</a></p> <p> </p> <p><span><span><span><span><span><span><span><span><span><span><span><span><strong><span lang="EN-GB" xml:lang="EN-GB" xml:lang="EN-GB"><span>Media contact</span></span></strong></span></span></span></span></span></span></span></span></span></span></span></span></p> <p><a href="mailto:media@aims.gov.au">media@aims.gov.au</a> </p> <p> </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/5412/edit" hreflang="en">Humphead maori wrasse_Copyright AIMS_Image Nick Thake</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/2021-04/copyrightaims_creditnickthake_humphead_maori_wrasse_800px.jpg" width="800" height="533" alt="A large humphead maori wrasee against a blue underwater background" typeof="foaf:Image" /> </div> </article> </div> Thu, 08 Apr 2021 03:02:56 +0000 kate 3830 at https://www.aims.gov.au Peeling back the layers of coral reefs https://www.aims.gov.au/news-and-media/peeling-back-layers-coral-reefs <h1 class="au-header-heading">Peeling back the layers of coral reefs</h1> <span><span lang="" about="/user/38" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">m.knapton</span></span> <span>Thu, 2021-03-11 14:55</span> <div class="field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field__item"><p> </p> <div alt="New discovery of bacterial relationship (photo taken by Justin Maire)" 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="7174c344-f036-46c6-a110-013bd82d3a50" class="align-left embedded-entity" data-langcode="en"> <img src="/sites/default/files/styles/featured/public/2021-03/20210221_135841-4.jpg?itok=rOyOFkol" width="1200" height="743" alt="New discovery of bacterial relationship (photo taken by Justin Maire)" typeof="foaf:Image" /> </div> <p> </p> <p><span><span><span>In a world-first, scientists have peeled back yet another layer of complexity to the inner workings of corals with the discovery of a new bacterial relationship.</span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><span>The discovery could be significant in understanding a coral’s heat tolerance, with evidence of these bacteria inside the coral’s symbiotic microalgae – microscopic plants living inside the coral itself – which play a critical role in a coral’s bleaching threshold.</span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><span>The new study, led by University of Melbourne and Australian Institute of Marine Science (AIMS), for the first time provides evidence for the existence of the bacteria, opening a door for new research to follow.</span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><span>AIMS geneticist and co-author of the research, Australian Research Council Laureate Fellow Professor Madeleine van Oppen, said different species of microalgae harbour similar types of bacteria, suggesting the bacteria play an important role in the health and functioning of the algae.</span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><span>“The next challenge is to decipher what exactly this role is. The microalgae have a large influence on the coral’s heat tolerance, and we are wondering whether the bacteria within them play a part too,” she said.</span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><span>“When the water gets too hot for too long, the microscopic algae inside the coral are lost, causing the coral to turn white. This is known as coral bleaching, which can cause extensive coral death.</span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><span>“Understanding the role of these newly discovered bacteria – something so tiny, so microscopic –  could potentially make a huge difference to something as enormous as the Great Barrier Reef.”</span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><span>University of Melbourne lead researcher Dr Justin Maire said the discovery will give a new lens to scientists who are researching coral bleaching and experimenting with assisted evolution.</span></span></span></p> <div data-embed-button="media_entity_embed" data-entity-embed-display="entity_reference:media_thumbnail" data-entity-embed-display-settings="450_x_450" data-entity-type="media" data-entity-uuid="e8d50e16-680f-4925-adc5-5376fcb2a50f" class="align-right embedded-entity" data-langcode="en"> <img src="/sites/default/files/styles/450_x_450/public/2021-03/20210221_135129-2.jpg?itok=eRfRcBeT" width="450" height="289" typeof="foaf:Image" /> </div> <p><span><span><span>“As climate change and marine heatwaves worsen, corals are at an increasing risk of more frequent and more severe bleaching events,” he said.</span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><span>“Looking forward, if we manage to culture the bacteria, scientists could attempt to enhance the corals’ heat tolerance via laboratory evolution of the bacteria.</span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><span>“These bacteria could then be reintroduced into the microalgae within corals, and the corals’ ability resist bleaching tested.</span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><span>“This work will hopefully help coral reefs persist throughout this century until global warming is curbed and corals can recover naturally.”</span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><span>This paper “Intracellular bacteria are common and taxonomically diverse in cultured and in hospite algal endosymbionts of coral reefs” has been recently published in The ISME Journal.</span></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-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/2021-03/20210221_135841-2_0.jpg" width="6813" height="4866" alt="Scientist discover new bacterial relationship - Justin Maire " typeof="foaf:Image" /> </div> </article> </div> Thu, 11 Mar 2021 03:55:20 +0000 m.knapton 3826 at https://www.aims.gov.au A future look: how corals will cope under combined pressures https://www.aims.gov.au/news-and-media/future-look-how-corals-will-cope-under-combined-pressures <h1 class="au-header-heading">A future look: how corals will cope under combined pressures</h1> <span><span lang="" about="/user/38" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">m.knapton</span></span> <span>Thu, 2021-03-04 11:23</span> <div class="field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field__item"><p> </p> <figure role="group" class="align-left"> <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="466630f1-72b4-4c43-8863-3e36f4b99bd6" data-langcode="en" class="embedded-entity"> <img src="/sites/default/files/styles/featured/public/2021-03/sediment_filtration.jpg?itok=xBSMkJQ8" width="1200" height="802" alt="PhD Student Christopher Brunner conducting experiment " typeof="foaf:Image" /> </div> <figcaption><em>PhD student Christopher Brunner conducting experiment at AIMS' National Sea Simulator / Credit: Christopher Brunner</em></figcaption> </figure> <p><span><span><span><span>A new study has shown climate change will have serious consequences for the ability of baby corals to cope with elevated sediments occurring inshore in the Great Barrier Reef. </span></span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><span><span>The study, held in the Australian Institute of Marine Science’s (AIMS) National Sea Simulator, is the first of its kind to look at the combined impacts of sedimentation and climate change on the early life of corals.</span></span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><span><span>The study revealed the young corals raised under warmer, more acidic ocean conditions predicted for the end of the century were more likely to perish than young corals under current conditions, when exposed to present day sediment levels. </span></span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><span><span>AIMS lead researcher and James Cook University (JCU) PhD candidate Christopher Brunner said the study was important in understanding how these pressures interact.    </span></span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><span><span> “What is different about this study is that we are not only looking at the impacts of climate change on young coral – we are looking at this impact combined with poor water quality, namely increased sedimentation,” he said. </span></span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><span><span> “We found older and larger corals were more resistant to sediments. We also discovered coral recruits grown in current climate conditions were more likely to survive the highest tested sediment concentrations.” </span></span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><span><span> “When we raised the temperature and acidity of the water to simulate the future climate, the corals' ability to cope with increased sediment levels diminished.”  </span></span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><span><span>“This suggests that these millimetre sized corals will become more sensitive to sediment stress as the climate changes.”  </span></span></span></span></p> <figure role="group" class="align-left"> <div alt="10 week old Acropora millepora coral recruits that were covered by 40mg/cm² sediment " 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="bbdf6164-a40d-4cb9-a762-461431c821e6" data-langcode="en" class="embedded-entity"> <img src="/sites/default/files/styles/featured/public/2021-03/a._millepora.jpg?itok=LI9036ha" width="1200" height="800" alt="10 week old Acropora millepora coral recruits that were covered by 40mg/cm² sediment " typeof="foaf:Image" /> </div> <figcaption><em>10-week-old Acropora millepora coral recruits covered by 40mg/cm² sediment 1 hour prior / Credit: Christopher Brunner</em></figcaption> </figure> <p><span><span><span><span>The study used the National Sea Simulator’s sophisticated control systems to grow the baby <em>Acropora millepora</em> corals for 14 weeks while simulating future climate conditions. </span></span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><span><span>The team simultaneously exposed the corals multiple times to various sediment concentrations that may occur in calm inshore reefs, near river runoff and dredging operations. </span></span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><span><span> AIMS’ Principal Research Scientist Dr Andrew Negri said the survival of young corals is critical for the maintenance of coral populations, and for the recovery of coral reefs in the face of other impacts related to climate change. </span></span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><span><span> “The Reef is under a number of different pressures, and none of these occur in isolation,” Dr Negri said.  </span></span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><span><span> “It's important we understand how other pressures impact reefs and their ability to recover – not only now but also in the decades to come.”  </span></span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><span><span> “Climate change is the biggest threat to coral reefs – and this research informs future water-quality guidelines on the Great Barrier Reef that will need to be climate-adjusted.” </span></span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><span><span>The research was supported by <a href="mailto:AIMS@JCU">AIMS@JCU</a> and the Australian Government’s National Environmental Science Program (NESP) Tropical Water Quality Hub.</span></span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><span><span>The research paper ‘</span><a href="https://doi.org/10.1016/j.scitotenv.2020.143897"><em><span>Climate change doubles sedimentation-induced coral recruit mortality</span></em></a><em><span>’</span></em><span> was published in the Science of the Total Environment journal. </span></span></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-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/2021-03/sediment_filtration.jpg" width="2754" height="1840" alt="PhD Student Christopher Brunner conducting experiment " typeof="foaf:Image" /> </div> </article> </div> Thu, 04 Mar 2021 00:23:27 +0000 m.knapton 3818 at https://www.aims.gov.au Underwater symphony: how human noise is disturbing the ocean’s soundtrack https://www.aims.gov.au/news-and-media/underwater-symphony-how-human-noise-disturbing-oceans-soundtrack <h1 class="au-header-heading">Underwater symphony: how human noise is disturbing the ocean’s soundtrack</h1> <span><span lang="" about="/user/38" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">m.knapton</span></span> <span>Wed, 2021-03-03 14:05</span> <div class="field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field__item"><h4><span><span><strong><em><span><span><span>While 2021 is the International Year of Sound, a global community of scientists are asking us to tune into the drowning sounds of the ocean.</span></span></span></em></strong></span></span></h4> <p><span><span><span><span><span><span>There is an acoustic symphony playing under the sea – a hidden soundtrack composed by marine life – echoing even in the darkest depths of the ocean, travelling faster and louder than ever possible in the air. </span></span></span></span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><span><span><span><span>This unique ‘soundscape’ is orchestrated by complex marine ecosystems and marine life have successfully depended on it for their survival for thousands of years – that is, until humans came along.  </span></span></span></span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><span><span><span>A recent global study has found human activities are interfering with this soundscape, with anthropogenic noises disrupting the ocean’s natural rhythm, stressing marine life and causing a decline in the health of ocean ecosystems. </span></span></span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><span><span><span><span>The study, published in <em>Science</em>, is the largest collaboration of evidence on the effects of the human-driven noise in the ocean, and is co-authored by Dr Mark Meekan and Dr Miles Parsons who lead Australian Institute of Marine Science’s research on marine noise, both </span></span><a href="https://www.aims.gov.au/nw-shoals-to-shore/marine-noise-monitoring-and-impacts"><span>human-made</span></a><span><span> and </span></span><a href="https://www.aims.gov.au/docs/media/latest-releases/-/asset_publisher/8Kfw/content/reef-fish-lose-sound-hook"><span>natural</span></a><span><span>.</span></span></span></span></span></span></p> <p> </p> <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="b8a0d6bf-03e4-415e-bc64-f9c597399a4d" data-langcode="en" class="embedded-entity"> <img src="/sites/default/files/styles/featured/public/2020-01/image003.jpg?itok=uHWT2np2" width="1060" height="795" typeof="foaf:Image" /> </div> <h3><span><span><span><strong><span><span>The natural soundscape: why all the noise?</span></span></strong></span></span></span></h3> <p><span><span><span><span><span><span>For marine animals, sound is a composition of communication – a crashing wave is heard by an oyster, signalling incoming food; a whale’s mating song can travel thousands of kilometres; a dolphin navigates murky waters by clicking, creating sound waves that bounce back off objects; a squid uses sound pressure to detect and catch prey; and even fish, swimming out at sea, are listening carefully to the wind, the waves, the rain, and the currents to understand their environment.</span></span></span></span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><span><span><span><span>Coral reefs have signature melodies, too – with fishes and invertebrates creating pops, grunts and croaks while they forage, hunt, feed, groom and mate. Every reef has a signature sound, of low and high frequencies, signalling the health of the reef and the type of predators that may inhabit it. Even fish larvae, once thought to be drifting aimlessly, can hear and identify such reef signatures, and choose whether it’s a good place to call home.</span></span></span></span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><span><span><span>AIMS’ </span><span><span>scientist Dr Mark Meekan said a healthy ocean is not quiet, with sound being key to communication underwater and critical for the survival of marine life. </span></span></span></span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><span><span><span><span>“Marine life exists in an environment where many sensory cues are restricted in their use, making sound profoundly important,” he said. </span></span></span></span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><span><span><span><span>“Noise is used and created to find prey, attract mates, escape predators and navigate their habitat.</span></span></span></span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><span><span><span><span>“W</span></span><span>hether it be a crab, a clam, a dolphin or a fish – almost all fauna use sound one way or another for vital life functions.” </span></span></span></span></span></p> <figure role="group"> <div data-embed-button="media_entity_embed" data-entity-embed-display="view_mode:media.embed" data-entity-type="media" data-entity-uuid="8be068a8-a1e8-4f8c-a0fd-cc21f30be3ff" data-langcode="en" class="embedded-entity"> <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/f6Nbqwm48yM&amp;max_width=560&amp;max_height=315&amp;hash=OP0m_0wkxiDATOTcXZ_uKqMcPeZ6hFUx2w3ezBSsOVY" frameborder="0" allowtransparency="" width="560" height="315" class="media-oembed-content" title="Jana Winderen - Composition from the Soundscape of the Anthropocene Ocean"></iframe></div> </article> </div> <figcaption>Composition from the Soundscape of the Anthropocene Ocean (© Jana Winderen)</figcaption> </figure> <h3><span><span><span><span><strong><span><span>How does human driven noises interfere with the ocean’s soundscape?</span></span></strong></span></span></span></span></h3> <p><span><span><span><span>The international team of researchers found human-</span><span>driven noise – including vessel noise, coastal development, exploration, naval operations, dredging, pile driving, and deep-sea mining – is </span><span>changing</span><span> the natural soundtrack, and further disrupting the behaviour, reproduction and physiology of marine life.</span></span></span></span></p> <p class="paragraph"><span><span><span><span>Dr <span>Miles Parsons said</span> this intrusion has been linked to hearing disabilities in marine life, displacement from preferred habitats, decreased health and reduced communication.</span></span></span></span></p> <p class="paragraph"><span><span><span><span>“When human-driven noise drowns out the natural sounds, it can potentially result in marine life missing vital sound cues for capturing prey or failing to avoid a predator,” he said.</span></span></span></span></p> <p class="paragraph"><span><span><span><span>“On-going, chronic noise, like the constant sound of passing vessels, can disrupt traveling, foraging, socialising, communicating, resting, and other behaviours in marine mammals.  </span></span></span></span></p> <p class="paragraph"><span><span><span><span>“We often think of the ocean as an untouched soundscape – deep and dark – but sounds from the surface and in the water travels much faster and louder compared to the air.</span></span></span></span></p> <p class="paragraph"><span><span><span><span>“Even the pattering sounds of rain echoes beneath the water’s surface, so it’s easy to imagine how noises made by humans can interfere with the natural seascape.” </span></span></span></span></p> <h3><span><span><strong><span><span>How can we turn down the volume? </span></span></strong></span></span></h3> <p><span><span><span><span>Human activities are impacting the ocean’s soundscape – but there are also tangible solutions, with some of these solutions already in motion.  </span></span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><span><span>Dr <span>Miles Parsons</span> said human noise in the ocean can be responsibly managed through improved and collaborative efforts.</span></span></span></span></p> <div data-embed-button="media_entity_embed" data-entity-embed-display="entity_reference:media_thumbnail" data-entity-embed-display-settings="large" data-entity-type="media" data-entity-uuid="bd4d7cdf-eb4b-4e19-bab3-d52a321486e2" class="align-right embedded-entity" data-langcode="en"> <img src="/sites/default/files/styles/large/public/2020-09/copyrightaims_creditandrerereuka_wa_whalesharkresearch2020-35_800px.jpg?itok=rEAenfWj" width="480" height="360" alt="Whaleshark" typeof="foaf:Image" /> </div> <p><span><span><span><span>“This could include improving regulations to manage sound within exclusive economic zones,”    </span></span></span></span><span><span><span><span>he said.</span></span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><span><span> “The speed and routes of ships can help reduce noise or divert the effects of marine noise away from biologically sensitive areas. </span></span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><span><span>“We’re already seeing marine construction, particularly for offshore wind farms, using noise-dampening technology which is making rapid changes to reducing noise.”</span></span></span></span></p> <p class="paragraph"><span><span><span><span>Australia is a marine nation, with the marine industry doubling in the past 10 years and injecting billions into the Australian economy.  </span></span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><span><span>“AIMS’ scientific research provides knowledge that contributes to the sustainable productivity of many of our marine industries that we rely on,” Dr Miles Parsons said.</span></span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><span> <span>“Our research helps ensure this occurs in a way that preserves and protects our unique marine ecosystems now and in the future.”</span></span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><span><span>“We are seeing marine industries improving their practices, so it is about continued efforts to ensure marine life can still rely on the natural ocean soundtrack.” </span></span></span></span></p> <p class="paragraph"><span><span><span><span>The research paper </span></span><a href="https://science.sciencemag.org/content/371/6529/eaba4658"><em><span><span>The soundscape of the Anthropocene ocean</span></span></em></a><em> </em><span><span>was published in the journal Science on 5 February 2021.</span></span></span></span></p> <h3><span><span><strong><span><span>AIMS research on sound</span></span></strong></span></span></h3> <ul> <li><span><span><span><span>Hear Dr Miles Parsons speak with co-author Professor Christine Erbe the Director of the Centre for Marine Science &amp; Technology at Curtin University about their research </span></span><a href="https://2ser.com/noise-pollution-is-hurting-marine-life/"><span><span>on sound pollution</span></span></a> </span></span></li> <li><span><span><span><span><span><span>AIMS’ </span></span><a href="http://www.aims.gov.au/nw-shoals-to-shore"><span><span>North West Shoals to Shore Research Program</span></span></a><span><span> investigates the long and short-term impacts of noise produced by seismic surveys and vessel activity on pearl oysters and demersal fishes. </span></span></span></span></span></span></li> <li><span><span><span><span>An AIMS study on Lizard Island shows the </span></span><a href="https://www.aims.gov.au/docs/media/latest-releases/-/asset_publisher/8Kfw/content/reef-fish-lose-sound-hook"><span><span>degraded sounds of a damaged reef</span></span></a><span><span> attract less fish. </span></span></span></span></li> <li><span><span><a href="https://www.mdpi.com/2077-1312/8/12/970"><span><span>Acoustic characteristics of small research vessels</span></span></a> </span></span></li> <li><span><span><span><span>A study on the effect </span><a href="https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0025326X18300687?via%3Dihub"><span>3D marine seismic survey</span></a> <span>to the soft tissue or skeletal integrity of mesophotic corals</span></span></span></span></li> <li><span><span><span><span>The effects of </span><a href="https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0025326X13006528?via%3Dihub"><span>seismic survey on species</span></a><span> richness or abundance of a coral reef associated fish community</span></span></span></span></li> </ul> <p class="paragraph"> </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/3" hreflang="en">Featured Content</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-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/image003.jpg" width="1060" height="795" typeof="foaf:Image" /> </div> </article> </div> Wed, 03 Mar 2021 03:05:55 +0000 m.knapton 3815 at https://www.aims.gov.au Southern reefs survive the hot summer of 2020 https://www.aims.gov.au/news-and-media/southern-reefs-survive-hot-summer-2020 <h1 class="au-header-heading">Southern reefs survive the hot summer of 2020</h1> <span><span lang="" about="/user/38" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">m.knapton</span></span> <span>Tue, 2021-03-02 15:42</span> <div class="field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field__item"><p><span><span><span>Surveys from the AIMS Long Term Monitoring Program have returned good news from the southern Great Barrier Reef, showing offshore reefs suffered little impact from moderate bleaching during the 2019-20 mass coral bleaching event.   </span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><span>AIMS are closely monitoring the recovery of the reefs, spanning over 490 reefs within the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park. </span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><span>While the 2019-2020 mass coral bleaching event was the third event in five years, it was the first time such widespread, severe bleaching has occurred in the southern region. </span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><span>The recovery was observed on six reefs not experiencing crown-of-thorns outbreaks – making the reefs the perfect candidates for scientists to observe their recovery closely. </span></span></span></p> <p>Dive into our <a href="https://arcg.is/0vv1i">interactive story map</a> to learn more about the recovery of the southern reefs.   </p> <p><span><span><span>AIMS’ long term monitoring program has regularly monitored reefs along the Great Barrier Reef for more than 30 years. </span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><span>The team will be continuing in-water surveys on the mid-shelf and outer reefs until April. Reports from each survey trip are available on our website.  </span></span></span></p> <p><a href="https://www.aims.gov.au/news-and-media/southern-reefs-recover-bleaching">Read our media release of the Southern recovery.</a></p> <p> </p> <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="3d61e9e1-7280-4bc8-9fa6-4f2869bfce44" data-langcode="en" class="embedded-entity"> <img src="/sites/default/files/styles/landscape/public/2021-03/copyright_aims_southern_great_barrier_reef-2.jpg?h=4521fff0&amp;itok=bx2OYbfL" width="600" height="337" typeof="foaf:Image" /> </div> <p> </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-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/2021-03/copyright_aims_aims_scientist_monitoring_coral_at_broomfield_reef-2.jpg" width="2048" height="1365" alt="AIMS team monitoring southern reefs" typeof="foaf:Image" /> </div> </article> </div> Tue, 02 Mar 2021 04:42:46 +0000 m.knapton 3814 at https://www.aims.gov.au Southern reefs recover from bleaching https://www.aims.gov.au/news-and-media/southern-reefs-recover-bleaching <h1 class="au-header-heading">Southern reefs recover from bleaching</h1> <span><span lang="" about="/user/38" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">m.knapton</span></span> <span>Tue, 2021-03-02 15:25</span> <div class="field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field__item"><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="a8ad6997-2ae0-4fa2-86c5-e6f268297bb1" data-langcode="en" class="embedded-entity"> <img src="/sites/default/files/styles/featured/public/2021-03/copyright_aims_aims_scientist_monitoring_coral_at_broomfield_reef-2.jpg?itok=GGqF10yH" width="1200" height="800" alt="AIMS team monitoring southern reefs" typeof="foaf:Image" /> </div> <p>Under the right conditions, corals can recover from bleaching events.</p> <p>This is the case for multiple reefs in the southern Great Barrier Reef, which avoided wide-spread mortality from the 2020 mass coral bleaching event.</p> <p>These reefs escaped prolonged heat stress and did not have ongoing impacts from crown-of-thorns starfish – giving the corals a chance to bounce back from bleaching.</p> <p>Australian Institute of Marine Science’s (AIMS) monitoring program team leader Dr Mike Emslie said the six reefs, spanning offshore between Shoalwater Bay and Agnes Waters, were observed closely by scientists because of their specific disturbance history.</p> <p>“These reefs were the perfect candidates for our team to observe their recovery – the corals were not severely bleached and did not have extra stress from the coral eating starfish,” he said.</p> <p>“What is often misunderstood is corals do not immediately die from bleaching – bleaching is a stress response, and they can recover if given the opportunity.</p> <div data-embed-button="media_entity_embed" data-entity-embed-display="entity_reference:media_thumbnail" data-entity-embed-display-settings="large" data-entity-type="media" data-entity-uuid="3d61e9e1-7280-4bc8-9fa6-4f2869bfce44" class="align-right embedded-entity" data-langcode="en"> <img src="/sites/default/files/styles/large/public/2021-03/copyright_aims_southern_great_barrier_reef-2.jpg?itok=nJK7_LNE" width="480" height="360" typeof="foaf:Image" /> </div> <p>“Our preliminary results show these reefs appear to have had little impact from the 2020 mass coral bleaching, with  an increase of hard coral cover at most reefs.</p> <p>“This increase is what we predict in the absence of disturbance. The reefs were given the opportunity to recover because 75% of southern reefs were not exposed to sustained temperatures expected to cause mortality and were also free the from the additional stressors of crown-of-thorns starfish.”</p> <p>Research Program Director Dr Britta Schaffelke said disturbances, such as crown-of-thorns starfish, can be significant in hindering the recovery process of reefs following bleaching events.</p> <p>“AIMS scientists lead world-class research in this effort to understand cumulative impacts on coral reefs,” she said.<br /> While the 2019-2020 mass coral bleaching event was the third event in five years, it was the first time such  widespread bleaching has occurred in the southern region.</p> <p>“These results are encouraging for the southern region –  but we are still in the water conducting surveys all along   the Great Barrier Reef to understand the full impact of the 2020 mass bleaching event, and indeed other disturbances, for both coral mortality and recovery,” said Dr Emslie.</p> <p>AIMS’ Long-Term Monitoring Program has measured the condition of reefs more than 30 years, spreading over 490 reefs within the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park.</p> <p> AIMS’ Annual Summary Report on coral reef condition for 2019/20 is drawn from surveys undertaken between September 2019 and June 2020.</p> <p>Media contact: <a href="mailto:media@aims.gov.au">media@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-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/2021-03/copyright_aims_aims_scientist_monitoring_coral_at_broomfield_reef-2.jpg" width="2048" height="1365" alt="AIMS team monitoring southern reefs" typeof="foaf:Image" /> </div> </article> </div> Tue, 02 Mar 2021 04:25:54 +0000 m.knapton 3813 at https://www.aims.gov.au West coast reefs warming up https://www.aims.gov.au/news-and-media/west-coast-reefs-warming <h1 class="au-header-heading">West coast reefs warming up</h1> <span><span lang="" about="/user/38" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">m.knapton</span></span> <span>Tue, 2021-02-16 14:55</span> <div class="field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field__item"><p><span><span><span>Scientists are keeping a close eye on reefs along the west coast of Australia, with sea surface temperatures reaching levels where some coral bleaching is occurring.  </span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><span>The thermal stress has been accumulating over the high-risk summer period and is expected to continue until April, according to forecasts from the Bureau of Meteorology (BoM).  </span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><span>Australian Institute of Marine Science’s (AIMS) coral ecologist Dr James Gilmour said the areas of concern include reefs in the Pilbara, Ningaloo, Shark Bay and the Abrolhos. </span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><span>“Low level bleaching has already been observed in parts of Exmouth Gulf and in the Dampier Archipelago, which were reported by officers from the Department of Biodiversity Conservation and Attractions (DBCA),” he said. </span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><span> “While cloud cover and rainfall from a recent tropical low has reduced some heat stress, the risk of bleaching will continue in the coming weeks in central to southern Western Australian reefs.” </span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><span>The recurring threat of bleaching to WA coral reefs has galvanised collaborative efforts across government and research institutions, drawing on the most current observations and forecasts based on data provided by BoM, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), CSIRO, the Integrated Marine Observing System (IMOS) and the University of Western Australia (UWA). </span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><span>“In the coming weeks, we’ll have many eyes on the reef to report coral bleaching and in-water surveys will be conducted by several research agencies, including AIMS, DBCA and CSIRO,” Dr Gilmour said. </span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><span>“This week we are conducting in-water surveys around Ningaloo – this monitoring will extend to other reefs at risk in the coming weeks.</span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><span>“We are encouraging people who are visiting these reefs to download our app ArcGIS Collector and report any sightings of coral bleaching.” </span></span></span><span><span><span> </span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><span>Currently, on the other side of Australia, temperatures are below bleaching thresholds for the most part of the Great Barrier Reef. </span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><span>The 2020-2021 summer has been characterised by a La Niña event, which is forecasted by BoM to last until Autumn.  </span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><span>This climate driver has meant above average rainfall has been likely for eastern and some northern parts of Australia, meaning a lower risk of bleaching in the Kimberley and the Great Barrier Reef.  </span></span></span></p> <p><a href="https://www.aims.gov.au/sites/default/files/2021-02/west_coast_reefs_warming_up_media_release_16_feb_2021_wa.pdf">Download media release</a></p> <p><strong>Media Contact</strong></p> <p>Molly Knapton, AIMS Communication Officer: <a href="mailto:m.knapton@aims.gov.au">m.knapton@aims.gov.au</a></p> <p> </p> <p> </p> <p> </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/2021-02/withnell_bay_photo_credit_suzie_glac.jpg" width="1536" height="2048" typeof="foaf:Image" /> </div> </article> </div> Tue, 16 Feb 2021 03:55:53 +0000 m.knapton 3809 at https://www.aims.gov.au