Cape Howe Marine National Park survey

Our final subtidal reef monitoring survey for the 2013/2014 monitoring season is complete. Over three days in May, Australian Marine Ecology scientists Matt, Dave and Bryan surveyed in and around the Cape Howe Marine National Park for the Parks Victoria Subtidal Reef Monitoring Program. This unique marine park is located in the far east of Victoria, along the New South Wales border, in the Twofold Shelf bioregion.

The coastline here is dotted with rocky headlands and localised outcrops of granite, such as at Cape Conran, Point Hicks, Gabo Island and Iron Prince. Sea temperatures are generally warmer in the Twofold Shelf region compared to elsewhere in Victoria because of incursions of the East Australian Current (although Dave still looked pretty cold sometimes). The continental slope is quite close here and cold-water upwellings are frequent. These upwellings provide nutrients to the inshore ecosystems, contributing to high productivity. The biota of this region has a high component of eastern temperate species, in addition to many southern temperate and cosmopolitan species. We observed several schools of Banded Morwong (Cheilodactylus spectabilis) and measured heaps of black-lipped abalone (Haliotis rubra) inside the park.  We are now in the process of analysing all the data and preparing reports for Parks Victoria. These “Technical Series” reports on the subtidal reef monitoring program will be publicly available through the Parks Victoria website.

Special Thanks to Reinhart Strauss and his skippers and crew for assisting us with their vessels and excellent knowledge of the local waters. We look forward to working with you again next year.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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