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Project details

Title: Acoustic survey of basket eel on Patience seamount in Huon AMP and ecological and carbon sequestration role of zooplankton in the Southern Ocean
Id: 2638
Investigator(s): Ben Scoulding
CSIRO Environment [details]

Description: We seek to carry a planned camera and acoustic survey of Patience Seamount within the ‘Huon’ Marine Park (Huon MP) south of Tasmania, lead remotely by scientists not onboard. The Huon MP has been identified as the only known location of a spawning aggregation of the basketwork eel, Diastobranchus capensis – a globally distributed and ecologically important deep-sea species. In the austral autumn, the spawning aggregation is large and likely the regional-scale spatial anchor for the species. As such it represents a key natural value in Australia – one with a hypothesised trajectory of ‘improving status’ following decades long impact from bottom trawling before the Huon MP was established. The spatial concentration of eels in the aggregation (~2-3 km2) and their high acoustic reflectivity are highly attractive characteristics that will enable the aggregation to be measured quantitatively with a hydroacoustic sensor (echosounder) and with very little further extractive sampling. As stated by Williams et al., (2021) “Monitoring the aggregation’s status, and validating seasonal spawning, provide important opportunities to examine conservation-led recovery in the deep sea as part of Australia’s new national strategy of Monitoring, Evaluation, Reporting, and Improvement (MERI) for conservation values within marine parks.”.
Years: 2024

List of surveys that this project was on.

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Survey InvestigatorDescription

Shadwick (CSIRO O&A) The primary objective is to first deploy a new set of SOTS moorings (SOFS-13 and SAZ-26) and then recover the existing SOTS moorings (SOFS-12, SOFS-11-SWAP and SAZ-25). Each of the SOTS moorings delivers to specific aspects of the atmosphere-ocean exchanges: • the SAZ sediment trap mooring collects samples to quantify the transfer of carbon and other nutrients to the ocean interior by sinking particles and investigate their ecological controls. • the Southern Ocean Flux Station (SOFS) mooring measures meteorological and ocean properties important to air-sea exchanges, ocean stratification, waves, currents and biological productivity and ecosystem structure. Water samples are collected for more detailed nutrient and plankton investigations after recovery. Ancillary work will obtain supporting information on atmospheric and oceanographic conditions using CTD casts, underway measurements, Continuous Plankton Recorder, and autonomous profiling Biogeochemical-Argo floats, and potentially casts of a bio-optical sensor package.
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