Inaugural Near-Shore Reef Marine Survey

Inaugural Near-Shore Reef Marine Survey

In 2009, we coordinated the first comprehensive marine survey of the nearshore reefs of the Chain of Bays, with funding provided by the Federal "Caring for our Country" initiative. With the establishment of a new Marine Park in the Chain of Bays, we believed it was important to gather information about the near-shore reefs to contribute to the knowledge about these environments, to assist community understanding of these environments, to train locals on how to monitor these areas, and to assist the process of establishing zones within the Park.
Dr Marlene Davey from the University of Tasmania led a team of South Australian and interstate divers in a survey of 13 different sites in each of the four Bays of the Chain of Bays. In addition to the survey, divers also conducted a training workshop at Smooth Pool for students from the Streaky Bay Area School, demonstrating the Reef Life survey method. Data from the survey has been provided to the Marine Branch of the South Australian Department for Environment and Heritage, and Dr James Brook has produced a scientific report incorporating data from the survey. The results confirm that the near-shore reefs of the Chain of Bays are biodiverse, and provide a refuge for many fish species of conservation concern. Results also showed a high degree of variation between and within sites, which may be expected from such a geographically diverse coastline. These findings support the argument that a large Marine Park is required in the Chain of Bays to represent the diversity of marine environments that exist in the region.


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