About 1,200 kilometers north of Perth, AU along the East Indian Ocean lies Ningaloo Marine Park, a deep reef ecosystem that supports a wide range of animals from whale sharks, turtles and other shallow and deep water habitat dwellers. The most unique feature of this 2,435 square km park is that the water depths range from 30m to more than 500m. In fact, 55% of Ningaloo Marine Park’s reefs are in water depths greater than 20 meters.

These deep water reefs are called Mesophotic reefs, where light still reaches the seafloor and can be between 30 to 150 meters below the ocean’s surface. Because of the difficulties in accessing deeper parts of these marine environment, mesophotic reefs remain understudied globally.

“By studying deep reef ecosystems and understanding the differences between shallow and deep water habitats will help determine the most important factors for long-term stability. “If these deepwater habitats are as important to fish and invertebrates as we expect, then understanding how these habitats function, how they’re maintained and how stable they are will contribute to their conservation and will help to inform sustainable fisheries operations.

There’s a huge benefit to using remotely operated vehicles (ROVs) for this kind of research. Mesophotic habitats are often beyond what’s accessible for recreational and scientific diving. By using ROVs, the team can capture images of deep reefs to help gather more data and better understand their ecology. Such deep reef communities have remained largely inaccessible until the invention of such technologies.” – Logan Hellmrich, CSIRO Research Team

Meet Logan Hellmrich (right), pictured here with CSIRO Research Officer Nick Mortimer! Logan is a PhD student who is looking to understand more about Ningaloo’s deep water habitats.

Image: Nick Mortimer/Ningaloo Outlook. Credit: CSIROscope

At Oceanbotics we’re proud to partner with marine professionals within the scientific community who are working to ensure the longevity and survival of these underwater eco systems. For more testimonials and projects we are involved in follow us on LinkedIn or on our News page.