New discoveries on Australian marine life

This slide show shows mostly corals, sponges and seascapes from Belize.

From Deakin University in Australia:

Diverse life discovered on the seabed

Wednesday, 28 May 2008

Deakin University

A breathtaking array of marine life on Victoria’s seafloor has been discovered off Victoria’s Surf Coast by Deakin University scientists.

The discovery includes previously unknown ‘gardens’ of magnificently coloured sponges, seaweed forests and seagrass meadows, and submerged river systems and lagoons that would have supported Aboriginal communities over 10,000 years ago.

The findings were captivating and would redefine the way the Victorian’s see their marine environment, according to Dr Daniel Ierodiaconou, Deakin researcher and the principal scientist overseeing the project.

“For the first time we have an accurate and comprehensive picture of life and the diversity of marine habitats along the Surf Coast, including hotspots for marine plants and animal communities,” Dr Ierodiaconou said.

“The findings also present a picture of what our region looked like prior to sea-level rise that occurred 10,000 to 12,000 years ago.

“These results will redefine conservation planning, improve fisheries management, and improve infrastructure planning to limit impacts on the environment. More than ever before we will be better informed about ways to conserve these areas and the life they contain for future generations to enjoy.”

The research project, which received $700,000 funding from the Australian Government, mapped seafloor habitats from Anglesea to the 12 Apostles – a massive 600,000 hectares of the State’s coastal waters. Research was done by sonar technology, towed video cameras and remotely operated vehicles.

A joint initiative of Deakin University, Fugro Survey P/L, the Australian Maritime College and the Victorian Partnership for Advanced Computing, the work forms part of an ambitious undertaking to eventually map all of Victoria’s marine environment.

News from the same area: giant squid caught.

Solar-powered sea slug harnesses stolen plant genes: here.

Global Diversity of Sponges (Porifera): here.

1 thought on “New discoveries on Australian marine life

  1. Pingback: River and coral reef in Belize | Dear Kitty. Some blog

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