Marine soft sediments make up vast areas of the sea floor and marine protected areas (MPAs) cover large areas of this soft sediment habitat. In contrast to other systems very little research has examined the ecology of demersal fishes (that is fish found on the sea floor) found on marine soft sediments within MPAs. Even fewer studies have investigated changes in marine soft sediment fish communities when fishing is removed in no-take zones. In addition, the movement of demersal soft sediment fish has rarely been investigated. This poses challenges for management and the evaluation of the efficacy of marine protected areas, in which soft sediments often make up more than 70% of habitats.
- Supervisors Dr Nathan Knott (NSW DPI) & Prof Andy Davis (UoW- Centre for Sustainable Ecosystem Solutions, School of Biological Sciences).
- All our tracking receivers are part of the Jervis Bay Marine Park DPI tracking array and form part of the Australian wide IMOS Animal Tracking array.
- Underwater footage shot in collaboration with NSW DPI.
- Drone footage Rory Anderson at Laww media.
Funding and major logistical support provided by NSW Department of Primary Industries.
Additional funding kindly provided by The Nature Conservancy, Sea World Research and Rescue Foundation, Australian Wildlife Society, The Ecological Society of Australia student grant, and travel support by Global Challenges at the University of Wollongong.