Australian Marine Parks

Department of Environment and Heritage, and CSIRO Marine Research, 2005.


Report authors: Peter Last, Vincent Lyne, Gordon Yearsley, Daniel Gledhill, Martin Gomon, Tony Rees, William White. Project contributors: Kunio Amaoka, Di Bray, Alastair Graham, Ken Graham, Tomio Iwamoto, Jeff Johnson, Mark McGrouther, Spikey Riddoch, Barry Russell, Roger Scott, Bill Venables, Alan Williams. Department of Environment and Heritage and CSIRO Marine Research, Australia, 2005 ISBN 1 8769 9687 0.

About the report

Earlier studies of inshore bioregions identified the need for a large-scale, faunal-based bioregionalisation of offshore demersal habitats in the Australian Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ).

In this project, provincial and biomic regionalisations of the EEZ beyond the coastal zone were produced from validated national datasets for deepwater demersal fishes (defined for this study as fishes found at depths greater than 40 m).

In this project, critical information on the geographic and depth distributions of fishes were used to provide the first comprehensive biogeographic appraisal of Australia’s deepwater demersal fish fauna, and the first anywhere at such a large scale.

Of the almost 1500 species examined by the project, 21 per cent do not have full scientific names and many of these will be new to science.

The distributions of deepwater fishes provide a surrogate of marine faunal distributions across the Australian EEZ.

The study discovered evidence of strong patterns in the distribution of Australian deepwater fishes (faunal substructure), with some obvious parallels to the patterns inshore, as well as some marked differences.

Eight deepwater provincial units were identified (the Cape, North Eastern, Central Eastern, Tasmanian, Southern, Central Western, North Western and Timor Provinces), as well as indicator species that characterise each province (see map in Figure 10).