Hundreds of new marine species discovered near Tasmania

This video from Australia says about itself:

An up close and personal experience of the Fairy Penguins at Low Head Tasmania.

From AFP news agency:

Hundreds of new marine species discovered: Australian scientists

Wed Oct 8, 4:37 AM ET

SYDNEY – Hundreds of new marine species and previously uncharted undersea mountains and canyons have been discovered in the depths of the Southern Ocean, Australian scientists said Wednesday.

A total of 274 species of fish, ancient corals, molluscs, crustaceans and sponges new to science were found in icy waters up to 3,000 metres (9,800 feet) deep among extinct volcanoes, they said.

The scientists mapped undersea mountains up to 500 metres high and canyons larger than the Grand Canyon for the first time, the government’s Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) said.

The finds were made in marine reserves 100 nautical miles south of the Australian island of Tasmania during two CSIRO voyages in November 2006 and April 2007 using new sonar and video technology as well as seafloor sampling.

Announcing the discoveries in the Tasmanian capital Hobart, CSIRO scientist Kate Wilson said more was known about the surface of Mars than the depths of the world’s oceans.

“In Australian waters, for example, more than 40 percent of the creatures brought to the surface by our scientists on a voyage of discovery have never been seen before,” she said.

See also here. And here.

3 thoughts on “Hundreds of new marine species discovered near Tasmania

  1. Algae bloom blamed for penguin deaths

    8:41 AM Thursday Jan 14, 2010

    Red algae bloom is the primary suspect in the deaths of scores of little blue penguins along the west coast of the North Island.

    Dead or dying penguins have been found washed up on beaches from Taranaki to Port Waikato this week.

    A bloom of harmful red fungus forming offshore may be responsible for killing the small blue birds, Department of Conservation officer Bryan Williams told the Taranaki Daily News.

    “We’re working with the Taranaki Regional Council and Taranaki’s Medical Officer of Health, and water samples are being collected for analysis.”

    A similar thing happened a few years ago, he said, with scientists suspecting the blooms were linked to climatic fluctuations caused by El Nino.

    Death by starvation had also not been ruled out as the reason behind the deaths.

    However, even if the cause was found, there was little humans could do about it, Mr Williams said.

    “It’s nature taking its course. It will have a small impact on the population but I believe that the population is large enough to sustain what is happening.”

    Two of the dead seabirds had been sent to Massey University for autopsy.

    The little blue penguins are the world’s smallest penguin, growing up to 43cm tall and weighing about a kilogram.

    – NZPA


  2. Pingback: What albatrosses eat | Dear Kitty. Some blog

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