Huon Marine Park
Huon Marine Park is a mountainous place. There are more than 120 undersea mountains (seamounts) in the marine park, the largest cluster in Australia.
Huon Marine Park’s seamounts are cone-shaped remnants of extinct volcanoes rising from the seafloor. Some ‘summits’ are over 1000 metres below the surface, a long way down to plant a flag.
Seamounts in the marine park are home to many species found nowhere else, including:
- sea stars
- fishes and other marine life.
Some of the corals here are hundreds of years old. The marine park protects spawning grounds for basketwork eels and commercial fish species, including ocean perch.
Huon Marine Park is immediately south of Tasmanian waters. It covers 9991 square kilometres, with depths from 70 metres to over 3000 metres.
The marine park has Habitat Protection and Multiple Use zones.
Be an underwater mountaineer without getting wet. Explore the shape of the park’s seamounts and ocean floor by watching a 3D map of the seafloor, made on the science research vessel Investigator in 2015 using a multi-beam sonar.
Seamounts are marine life magnets. All sorts of species stick to them.
Water flows faster around seamounts than across flat seafloor, thus washing away sediments that would otherwise settle.
This provides a clean surface for filter-feeding animals such as corals, sponges and anemones to stick too. The swirling waters deliver plenty of food particles to these animals on their mountainside home.
With reef-building corals and other pioneers in place, more animals move in, including:
- brittle stars
Eventually, there are whole bustling communities living on the seamount.
Each seamount can have its own unique species, so it’s important to protect as many seamounts as possible.
Like mountains on land, seamounts are unique, dynamic, fragile, awe-inspiring places worthy of our respect and care.
Read more about the RV Investigator’s work to map the Huon Commonwealth Marine Park on the CSIRO.au blog.
Click on the map below to see what you can do in the Huon Marine Park.
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