Port Phillip Heads Marine National Park survey

We have just completed our 16th survey of the Port Phillip Heads Marine National Park (MNP) in our ongoing monitoring program of Victorian Marine Protected Areas. The Port Phillip Heads MNP is one of the most amazing and diverse underwater environments in Australia. This summer, Australian Marine Ecology and Fathom Pacific divers surveyed in and around the Port Phillip Heads MNP for the Parks Victoria subtidal reef monitoring program.  The monitoring program involves an underwater visual census of fish, invertebrates, and algae as well as filming diver-operated stereovideo footage.  There were 14 sites in this survey which covered a variety of habitats from the calm seagrass beds inside Nepean Bay to the high energy shallow reefs outside Point Lonsdale.

As the survey was expected to last a few weeks, we established a basecamp at the Queenscliff Harbour in our vessel Orca II.

This was home to some during the long days and over several weeks as we finished the survey.  Luckily gourmet café food and hot coffee was never far away.

The highlight was observing two female Blue Groupers (Achoerodus gouldii) inside the MNP.  These species were historically subjected to heavy fishing pressures in the area and had not yet been observed over the previous 15 years of monitoring at Port Phillip Heads MNP.

With only one year to go until the 17th survey, we look forward to another sunny summer in Queenscliff.

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Phone/Fax: +61 3 9376 2397

Email: info@marine-ecology.com.au