Biodiversity Strong in Australian Antarctic Region

A deep sea camera system (above) has shown that Australian commercial fisheries are having little impact on sea floor biodiversity around Heard Island and McDonald Islands near the Antarctic.

Life flourishing @ 1200 meters
Life flourishing @ 1200 meters

In combination with scientific sampling, the cameras revealed that more than 98% of sensitive sea floor biodiversity remains in pristine condition following commercial fishing over the past 16 years.

The research also found that the majority of vulnerable organisms live on the sea floor at depths less than 1,200 metres. This habitat overlaps with trawl fishing to depths of 1,000 metres, and to a lesser extent longline fishing.

spider shrimp2 octopus 

Sea Spider                            Amphipod                             Octopus

However, scientists estimate that only 0.7% of the sea floor within the fishing zone has had some interaction with fishing gear since the fishery’s inception in 1997.

Now all we need is a study on the Biodiversity impact from the surface to the 1,000 meter mark as although this study seems to support trawl fishing further study and monitoring of fish stocks over a long period is required to ensure sustainability is met for future generations.

Stay Curious – C.Costigan

worm shrimp star

Scale Worm                             Isopod                                Feather Star


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