Australian Marine Parks

Monday 24 February 2020

The Schmidt Ocean Institute research vessel Falkor has been deployed to the Bremer and Perth Canyon Marine Parks using an underwater remotely-operated vehicle to explore some of the deepest areas of these parks for the very first time.

These exploratory voyages may reveal some important learning opportunities with Australian Marine Parks, due to their often remote locations, scientific knowledge and observation forms the basis of our increasing understanding of these parks and the marine life they support. Such information is crucial to effective parks management.

Perth Canyon Marine Park protects a feeding site for blue whales, and is well known to local recreational fishers. It’s also home to Australia’s largest underwater canyon, less than 20 kilometres from Rottnest Island.

The Bremer Marine Park is becoming increasingly popular for its naturewatching: killer whales (orcas) and southern right whales are the stars of the show. The voyage is looking to explore the effects of ocean temperature and acidity on deep sea corals.

Researchers, including Parks Australia staff, have also recently travelled to Elizabeth and Middleton Reefs in the Lord Howe Marine Park to study seabed habitat, including that of the Black Cod, which is listed as a vulnerable species.

More voyages are planned for 2020, including to Gascoyne, Coral Sea and Ashmore Reef Marine Parks.