Australia

Corals on Flynn Reef, part of Australia's Great Barrier Reef
Corals on Flynn Reef, part of Australia's Great Barrier Reef

Temperature and habitat changes have impacted Australia's reef fishes

For more than a decade, some researchers in Australia have been monitoring coral reefs in the vicinity to see how rising ocean temperatures affect both the tropical and temperate reef fish communities.

The findings of their study was published in the Current Biology journal.

According to lead author Rick Stuart-Smith, a marine ecologist at the University of Tasmania, the team had focused on reef fishes as reefs provided many benefits to people and the fishes there helped maintain the natural ecological function of the reefs.

SeaLife Appoints New Australia Distributor

Underwater Australasia Pty Ltd, also known simply as underwater.com.au, has been appointed as the exclusive distributor for Australia for SeaLife’s underwater imaging and diving products effective February 1st 2022.

Underwater.com.au has been active in the underwater industry for over 20 years and specializes in the import and sale of underwater niche products.

AIMS' Long-Term Monitoring Program measures the status and trend of reefs in the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area.
AIMS' Long-Term Monitoring Program measures the status and trend of reefs in the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area.

Continued coral recovery recorded across two-thirds of the Great Barrier Reef

Published today, AIMS’ Annual Summary Report on Coral Reef Condition for 2021/22 shows another year of increased coral cover across much of the Reef.

The increasing frequency of warming ocean temperatures and the extent of mass bleaching events highlights the critical threat climate change poses to all reefs, particularly while crown-of-thorns starfish outbreaks and tropical cyclones are also occurring. Future disturbance can reverse the observed recovery in a short amount of time.

AIMS monitoring program team leader Dr Mike Emslie

Ribbon weed, Posidonia australis, meadow in Shark Bay, Western Australia
Ribbon weed, Posidonia australis, meadow in Shark Bay, Western Australia

Single seagrass plant stretches 180km

Large, perennial, seagrass meadows of the Poseidon’s ribbon weed and the wire weed (Amphibolis antarctica) dominate much of the marine ecosystem in the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Shark Bay, Australia.

Two years ago, scientists discovered some of the seagrass there was a clone of a Poseidon’s ribbon weed (Posidonia australis) that had 40 chromosomes instead of the typical 20. They think half those chromosomes may come from the ribbon weed and half from an unknown species.

Vibrant life on GBR - as it should be
The Great Barrier Reef is home to more than 1,500 types of fish, over 400 kinds of hard corals and dozens of other species.

Australia pledges 1 billion to protect Great Barrier Reef

Prime Minister Scott Morrison unveiled the nearly decade-long conservation package days ahead of a February 1 deadline set by UNESCO to submit a report on the reef's state of conservation, and months after it narrowly avoided being placed on the UN's cultural agency's "danger" list due to the threat of climate change.

“Any additional funding for the environment in Australia is welcome, as it is severely under-resourced. However, handing out cash for the Great Barrier Reef with one hand, while funding the very industry – fossil fuels – that’s driving devastating climate impacts like marine heatwaves and coral bleaching, means they are adding to the very problem they are claiming they want to fix.”

— Climate Councillor, climate scientist and Distinguished Professor of Biology at Macquarie University, Professor Lesley Hughes

In Deep with Andrew Fox: Born to Great White Sharks

Andrew Fox and great white shark
Photo-illustration of Andrew Fox with great white shark. Photos courtesy of Andrew Fox

The great white shark (Carcharodon carcharias) is undeniably the most well known of the ocean’s many predators. It has, one could say, “form” and is widely considered as a ruthless and terrifying man-eater, which has taken the lives of many innocent swimmers, surfers and divers.

Great Barrier Reef corals (Kyle Taylor / Flickr / CC BY 2.0)
Great Barrier Reef corals (Kyle Taylor / Flickr / CC BY 2.0)

Deciphering the corals' scents

Last December, marine biologist Caitlin Lawson made her way to the Great Barrier Reef.

Like countless others, she was there for the annual spawning of the corals. However, she was armed, not with expensive photographic equipment, but small plastic containers rigged with tubing.

Her mission? To collect the gaseous chemicals released by the corals (as well as their algal and bacterial symbionts) before, during and after the spawning event.