Benthic monitoring

Filming of the seabed was conducted with a Remote Observation Vehicle (ROV).

The seabed was generally uniform at all compliance, internal habitat and control sites. All sites shared the common features of medium to coarse rippled sand, some shell grit and old shells, with a depauperate fauna consisting generally of what appeared to be fine burrows and at times very low profile polychaete tubes.

There were occasional Pennatulaceans (Cnidaria) and juvenile Flathead at a number of sites, and the occasional brittle star (ophiuroid), small mollusc, scallop (mostly only dead shells) and amphipod (probably associated with drift algae). Drift red algae was abundant at the control sites decreasing towards the south through the lease area and was absent from the southernmost survey sites. This together with the increase in sediment grain size from north to south may indicate a general trend across the sites.

No introduced species were identified from the survey footage.



Update Survey 2

MARL Update Survey 2 Report, September 2017

One year on from the Baseline water quality survey at the MARL, and no significant evidence of organic enrichment has been found.

The report below presents column and sediments data required under the Water Quality Monitoring, the Substrate Monitoring and the Benthic Macroinvertebrate Monitoring programs to meet the NSW Department of Primary Industries and Environment conditions of approval.

The survey was undertaken one year after the Baseline survey to allow for a direct comparison of the results whilst eliminating any seasonal effects.

The report found “observations suggest there to be no significant evidence of organic enrichment across all sites including the pen site.”

Read the full report here:

 

S1 - Compliance Site

S1 is a compliance site located 35 meters from the lease boundary.

The cores are a very good example of clean sand and they show no evidence of any darkening of any part of the core. If darkening were present, it would suggest organic enrichment.

C2 – Control Site

C2 is a control site that is situated between the MARL and Broughton Islands.

The cores show clean sands right through with only one very small dark patch suggesting possible decomposition of flora or fauna at that depth in the core.

S3 – Pen Site

S3 is sited right on the edge of the pen. The cores show clean sands throughout which is very similar to all other sites. There is no evidence of an organic layer or presence within the core.