Expedition update: Unnamed Reefs

The visibility was lower than average today – but still sufficient to carry out our scientific transects (we can operate in a minimum of 10 metres visibility). These unnamed reefs are marine parks but are not the typical destinations for local dive operators, so both the crew and the team were quite curious to see what was there. We surveyed three sites along the outer edge of UN 13-074 and 13-116 and on both sites we’ve noticed fishing nets caught up on the shallow reef. In Australia net fishing is illegal but we can still see the impacts of drift nets on the reefs. Many of these nets can be traced back to their place of origin by looking at their make. They can drift a long way trapping marine life, such as turtles, as they move. Eventually many of them end up washed up along a distant coastline or onto reef like the one we saw today. This is a fine example of the connectivity of our oceans and shows how fishing activities of other countries can still impact the Great Barrier Reef.