Habitat characterisation and biodiversity surveys in West Cape York Marine Park and Torres Strait Dugong Sanctuary

  • Groom, Rachel (Principal Investigator/Chief Investigator A)
  • Senarath, Aravinda (Business Manager)

Project: Research

Project Details

Description

Marine habitats of western Torres Strait and Cape York have long been identified as ecologically and culturally significant, supporting large areas of seagrass, high densities of dugongs and turtles, and traditional, commercial and recreational fisheries. These ecological values in the region have led to the establishment of the Torres Strait Dugong Sanctuary and the West Cape York Marine Park (WCYMP). Despite these values, benthic habitats including seagrasses, fish assemblages and the cultural significance of the region remain inadequately surveyed. Our current knowledge of the area is unsuitable to address local concerns about seagrass dieback that have been voiced by Traditional Owners and documented by scientists and Rangers, in informing community Dugong and Turtle Management Plans, and in identifying areas for long-term monitoring.
The Sub‐contractor will contribute towards marine benthic habitat surveys within the Marine Park and adjacent areas, together with Angkamuthi Rangers (through the Ipima Ikaya Aboriginal Corporation RNTBC), Kaurareg Rangers (through the Kaurareg Native Title Aboriginal Corporation RNTBC), the Kaurareg Aboriginal Land Trust, James Cook University and Torres Strait Regional Authority). The Sub‐contractor will record traditional knowledge during benthic surveys and during community consults and assist with final reporting to include a framework for the development of both-ways knowledge monitoring and recommendations for the Marine Park’s co‐management.
StatusActive
Effective start/end date1/11/2130/06/23