Research for understanding and managing Australian oceans and temperate marine environments.
About this hub
The Marine Biodiversity Hub ran from 2014-15 to 2020-21 and provided scientific research and information to support evidence-based decision making about:
- marine species
- marine protected areas
- pressures on the marine environment.
Marine Biodiversity Hub impacts highlights some of the hub’s impacts across its 6-year research program.
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At a glance
|NESP funding||$24 million|
|Host organisation||University of Tasmania|
|Hub leader||Dr Alan Jordan|
|Approved projects||Marine Biodiversity Hub projects|
Partners in WA Sea Country research
The hub produced a snapshot of Indigenous, government and academic groups with an interest in partnership approaches to Sea Country science in Western Australia.
This makes it easier for scientists, marine managers and Indigenous communities to identify opportunities for further collaboration.
Twelve Native Title groups are profiled with summaries and links to their organisational structures, Sea Country management plans, maps, protocols, ranger group activities and contacts.
The snapshot complemented the final report of the 2019 Australian Marine Sciences Association Indigenous Workshop.
Saving Tasmania’s Red Handfish
Coastal development and a changing environment have impacted Tasmania’s Red Handfish, which is arguably one of the rarest marine fish in the world.
Scientists, managers, industry and the community are mobilising to save the Red Handfish from extinction. Research and conservation is coordinated by the National Handfish Recovery Team through the Handfish Conservation Project.
The hub supported the collection and hatching of Red Handfish egg masses (led by CSIRO).
This led to 17 juveniles being raised at Seahorse World.
Efforts also included removing 6,000 sea urchins which threatened the shallow reef habitat of the Red Handfish.
Conserving river sharks and sawfish
Previously unknown populations of Speartooth Sharks were discovered in the lower Ord River and Cambridge Gulf in Western Australia’s Kimberley region and the Daly River of the Northern Territory.
Captures of newborn pups indicated the rivers are a nursery ground for the species.
DNA was extracted from the tissue samples to compare the Western Australian Speartooth Shark population with those in the Northern Territory and Queensland.
The hub project results will help guide the conservation and management of the Speartooth Shark.
Similar work was undertaken on the Endangered Northern River Shark and the Vulnerable Largetooth Sawfish.
Surveying the deeper waters of Ningaloo Reef
The hub deployed Baited Remote Underwater stereo-Video (stereo-BRUVs) at 200 sites to record the fish near the seafloor at Ningaloo Reef.
This provided park managers with a baseline for understanding existing fish levels and monitoring change.
The survey also provided an opportunity to validate the hub’s standard operating procedures for stereo-BRUVs deployment.
Ningaloo Reef is Australia’s largest fringing coral reef system and a World Heritage site.
It is protected by a state-managed inshore marine park and an offshore Commonwealth Marine Park managed by Parks Australia.