. Earth Science News .

Australia's Coral Sea 'biodiversity hotspot': study
by Staff Writers
Sydney (AFP) Aug 20, 2011

The Coral Sea off Australia's northeast coast is one of the last remaining places brimming with large predatory fish such as sharks and tuna, a study released Saturday found.

The study found the 972,000 square kilometre (388,800 square mile) zone stretching from the Great Barrier Reef to the waters of the Solomon Islands and New Caledonia, was home to many unique and endangered species.

"The southern edge of the Coral Sea is considered a global biodiversity hotspot for ocean predators such as sharks, tunas and billfish," the Pew Environment Group commissioned report said.

"Oceanic and reef sharks have been documented in large numbers in some parts of the Coral Sea, especially in areas protected from exploitation. Deep-water sharks are known to dwell on the deep continental slopes and plateaux."

The report said while only a small part of the area had been intensely studied, available data indicated the sea held important habitats, migration corridors and ecological processes sustaining unique marine life.

Fifty-two species of deep-water sharks, rays and chimaera fish have been recorded in the Coral Sea -- 18 of which are known only from there -- while it also holds the world's only confirmed spawning aggregation of black marlin.

Numerous threatened and migratory whales, turtles and sharks, as well as tunas and billfish, are found in the open sea while cays provided habitat and roosting places for seabirds and nesting spots for endangered green turtles.

The southern Coral Sea also has large densities of fish and squid which, as middle-rankers in the food chain, play an important role in regulating food web stability, the report said.

In total, some 341 species recognised by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature for their conservation significance are present in the Coral Sea, the study said.

The sea also provides migration corridors for species such as humpback whales, loggerhead turtles and freshwater eels -- the last of which spawn in the northern Coral Sea and migrate up to 3,000 kilometres (1,900 miles) to Australian and New Zealand coastlines.

Pew is urging the Australian government to create a permanent conservation marine park in the zone.

Related Links
Water News - Science, Technology and Politics

Get Our Free Newsletters Via Email
Buy Advertising Editorial Enquiries

. Comment on this article via your Facebook, Yahoo, AOL, Hotmail login.

Share this article via these popular social media networks
del.icio.usdel.icio.us DiggDigg RedditReddit GoogleGoogle

Soft Coral Builds Strong Reefs
Tel Aviv, Israel (SPX) Aug 19, 2011
TAU researcher discovers that endangered soft corals are also building blocks of coral reefs Scientists have long believed soft corals, one of the many endangered elements of marine life, are only minor contributors to the structure of coral reefs. But that's not true, says new research from Tel Aviv University - and the preservation of soft corals is essential to the health of our seas. ... read more

New tool allows first responders to visualize post-event disaster environments

NIST tests help ensure reliable wireless alarm beacons for first responders

Japan to pick new PM next week: ruling party

Pope decided to stay on through storm: spokesman

HP surrenders as post-PC era beckons

Forecasting pipe fractures

Tests find thyroid radiation in Japanese children

First quantitative measure of radiation leaked from Fukushima reactor

Australia's Coral Sea 'biodiversity hotspot': study

Water Week starts with calls for better urban water

Office of Naval Research taking on challenges of unmanned underwater vehicles

Soft Coral Builds Strong Reefs

Model shows polar ice caps can recover from warmer climate-induced melting

Research finds Greenland glacier melting faster than expected

UCI researchers chart long-shrouded glacial reaches of Antarctica

Polar climate change may lead to ecological change

Toxic vinegar suspected of killing 11 in China

Nitrogen in the soil cleans the air

Water crisis, population surge prompt rethink on food: UN

Gunmen threaten sister of killed Amazon activist: lawyer

Hurricane Irene bears down on Dom. Republic, Haiti

Harvey bears down on Belize

Tsunami observed by radar

Heavy rain kills seven, wrecks property in Niger

Guinea-Bissau says military reform requires funding

Mystery fire fuels Zimbabwe power struggle

Top Zimbabwe military officer killed in blaze

Zimbabwe powerbroker, ex-defence chief Mujuru dies in blaze

Study: Human ancestors early seafarers

Narcissism may benefit the young, researchers report; but older adults? Not so much

Study: Some are born with math ability

Six Million Years of African Savanna

Memory Foam Mattress Review
Newsletters :: SpaceDaily Express :: SpaceWar Express :: TerraDaily Express :: Energy Daily
XML Feeds :: Space News :: Earth News :: War News :: Solar Energy News

The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2011 - Space Media Network. AFP and UPI Wire Stories are copyright Agence France-Presse and United Press International. ESA Portal Reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement,agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. Privacy Statement