Our WA campaign is done! We traversed 750km of coastline- from Hamelin Bay to the Abrolhos islands, hit 43 survey sites and took a whopping 840 thousand images of the ocean floor! Our Sirius and Nimbus AUVs worked in tandem, snapping away underwater as we rocked and rolled through some WA’s finest southerlies. Special thanks to @imos_australia @ausmarineparks @universitywa @sydney_uni @dongara_marine and Bass Marine Dongara for helping make this trip happen!
More sea floor pics to come once we process the Abrolhos images 🙂
The team joined scientists from the South Australian Research and Development Institute (SARDI) to survey sites inside and outside of Marine National Parks offshore of Kangaroo Island. Over the course of two days hemmed in by weather the team completed 6 deployments, collecting 45,493 seafloor images. See our instagram post.
An article has appeared in on the ABC website detailing work by the IMOS AUV Facility in documenting marine reserves in Bass Strait. These surveys were conducted during IMOS benthic monitoring surveys in July 2017.
Our IMOS AUV Facility team spent last week surveying reefs at Ningaloo in WA. These surveys were part of our IMOS AUV Facility benthic monitoring program and repeat transects first surveyed over a decade ago. We were working with colleagues at CSIRO to collect this data and to analyse the resulting benthic images to document changes in the coral reef and sponge communities offshore of Ningaloo. In addition to managing the deployment and recovery of the AUV, the team were also treated to some outstanding displays by the native wildlife.
The IMOS AUV group have been working with the University of Tasmania aboard the AMC vessel RV Bluefin to survey sites within the Commonwealth Marine Reserve at Maatsuyker Island on the South West tip of Tasmania. After mobilising at Beauty Point, we had to wait out some bad weather, with strong winds and rough seas forecast over the weekend. Monday morning dawned with relatively calm conditions so we headed out to the site to deploy the vehicle. After a six hour mission we recovered the vehicle as the seas began to build. The forecast for the rest of the week is pretty dire, with 7-10m swell predicted in the area so we have had to call it a day. We will pick up a few additional sites around Bruney Island on the way back to Hobart.
Despite the relatively short time on site, we were able to collect a large number of seafloor images with the reserve. A few sample images showing dense brittle stars, rock lobsters, sponge gardens and soft corals appear below.