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Rowley Shoals and Montebello Islands Expedition

GWOT | Aug, 2018

 

Aug, 2018

  Cover image

Oceanic white-tip (Carcharhinus longimanus) in the waters off Montebello Island.

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SUMMARY

The Marine Futures Lab returned from a month-long stint in north Western Australia using midwater stereo-BRUVs to survey pelagic fish and shark assemblages. Sampling effort was focused in deep canyons north-west of the Rowley Shoals and the surroundings of the Montebello Islands. In total, 280 mid-water stereo-BRUVs were successfully deployed and retrieved across the Rowley Shoals and Montebello Islands.

The Montebello’s in particular where teeming with marine life. Initial analysis of the data has uncovered numerous shark species including an oceanic white tip shark (C. longimanus), tiger sharks (G. cuvier), great hammerhead sharks (S. mokarran), dusky whalers (C. obscurus), sand bar sharks (C. plumbeus), common black tip sharks (C. limbatus) and a pig-eye shark (C. amboinensis). Multiple pelagic fish were captured on camera including mahi mahi (C. hippurus), sail fish (I. platypterus), striped marlin (K. audax) and schools of tuna, scad and bait fish.

Footage of a humpback whale (M. novaeangliae) was captured on our mid-water cameras while whales and dolphins were regularly observed from the vessel . A combined total of 760 hours of video footage was successfully collected adding to our “big-blue” data-set of biodiversity and abundance of this region.

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SNEAK PEEK

Oceanic white tip (Carcharhinus longimanus)

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Mahi-mahi

Large school of Mahi-mahi (also known as common dolphinfish) (Coryphaena hippurus) were observed in our cameras

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Locations

FUNDING & ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

This expedition was undertaken aboard the vessel Browse Express in collaboration with Quest Maritime Services and the Ian Potter Foundation. Special thanks goes out the incredibly helpful and professional crew for their assistance and use of the vessel.