Australia: The Cape Byron Marine Park has become the first in New South Wales (NSW), Australia, to have its seabed completely mapped using side scan sonar technology, a programme that has been described as one of the best in Australia.
Key findings include:
– Julian Rocks’ huge fish diversity, grey nurse sharks and abundance of temperate corals.
– One of the narrowest points on the continental shelf is at Cape Byron.
– The Lennox Head moat with its boulder reef habitats.
– The spanner crab spawning area south of Cape Byron.
Scientific teams will soon return to the Northern Rivers to map areas outside the marine reserve and identify areas of similar habitat. They will also study the region’s river plumes to examine the effects of large flood events on the ecosystems in the Cape Byron Marine Park and nearby areas.
This comes as a new report, Marine Park Science in NSW: An Independent Review, was released by a group of renowned professors and researchers.
Director of environment and conservation science, Klaus Koop, said, “Not only are we on the right track with our scientific programme within marine parks, but a number of specific programmes, including the seabed mapping and the Baited Remote Underwater Video System, which measures fish abundances, sizes and biomasses, have been recognised.”
Source: Northern Star