Better than the Great Barrier Reef?
The Great Barrier Reef off the coast of Queensland, Australia is a world renowned snorkel and scuba diving site and may now have some competition thanks to the work of a remotely operated vehicle (ROV).
The stunning Wilsons Promontory Marine National Park was always a popular destination due to its beautiful landscape, but what wonders lay below the water line were always unknown. That is until Parks Victoria Marine Science Manager, Steggan Howe brought in a remotely operated vehicle (ROV) to begin the exploration of this area and record the marine life in habitats between 30 – 100 meters deep.
What they discovered was much more than they expected.
“The resulting footage shows that the deep reef habitats are teeming with life and are home to rich and abundant marine ecosystems that are comparable to Australia’s better-known tropical reef areas. The extent and abundance of spectacular sponge gardens and corals is a particularly exciting find,” said Dr Howe.
Here’s a list of just some of the wildlife they discovered, all through the eyes of a ROV:
- Massive coral fans, large sea whips and colourful sponge gardens beyond scientists expectations.
- Extensive walls, house-sized boulders, ridges and caverns with a diverse range of colourful sponges, hard and soft corals and abundant fish life.
- 90 m deep holes with big schools of deep sea perch; fish that can grow to 80 cm long.
- Complex underwater dune systems including one about 30 metres high and 2 km long
- Abundant fish species including some that are said to be of conservation significance as they are rare at the state level. Examples include the Australian barracuda (Sphyraena novaehollandiae) and Longsnout Boarfish (Pentaceropsis recurvirostris).
The reefs in Victoria are deeper than they are in Queensland, so it won’t be as accessible for snorkelers – but it will be a great place for scuba divers and remotely operated vehicles!
We certainly can’t wait to go to Victoria ourselves with a Deep Trekker ROV and do some exploring! Who would like to join us?