Parks Victoria surveys deliver good news for western blue groper
An important aspect of the management and conservation of Victoria’s marine environment is the regular checking of the condition of the ecosystem and how it may be changing over time. Combined with an understanding of ecosystem processes, this information can be used to manage any threats or pressures on the environment to ensure these precious ecosystems are sustainable. And the good news is, a rare and protected species is doing very well.
The Victorian Government has established a long-term Subtidal Reef Monitoring Program (SRMP) which is providing information on the status of Victoria’s important reef marine life. The focus is on macroalgae including seaweed, macroinvertebrates including crabs, and fish.
Through regular surveys check the health of the species and their habitats.
A team of divers have been carrying out the surveys within Port Phillip Heads Marine National Park at locations including Pope’s Eye, Point Lonsdale, and Point Nepean, as well as comparative sites outside of the park.
The most recent surveys have revealed many communities of fish and invertebrates throughout the park. A particularly exciting finding in the most recent survey was increased numbers of the rare and protected western blue groper within the marine national park and other nearby locations.
Since the establishment of the parks in 2002 our knowledge and understanding of the priceless natural values and the threats faced by the system have improved significantly through the marine science programme. Much of the research has been undertaken as part of the Research Partners Program involving collaboration with various research institutions.