Reef and Rainforest Research Center Ltd

Cairns, Australia

Reef and Rainforest Research Center Ltd

Cairns, Australia

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Morrisey D.,NIWA - National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research | Inglis G.,NIWA - National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research | Neil K.,Reef and Rainforest Research Center Ltd | Bradley A.,NIWA - National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research | Fitridge I.,University of Melbourne
Environmental Conservation | Year: 2011

Trade in ornamental marine species in Australia, a country with relatively stringent import controls, was investigated using a telephone survey of wholesalers and retailers, and a desktop review of internet import databases and hobbyist trading websites. Information on the regulatory framework was obtained from government and other published or online sources, and from staff of regulatory agencies. Although the trade is small relative to that in the USA, Europe and parts of Asia, Australia imports significant numbers of marine fish each year for the aquarium trade. Many of the more than 200 species imported have the potential to become environmental and/or economic pests. Imported individuals of native species could act as vectors of disease or affect the genetic diversity of native populations if they were released into the wild. Regulatory measures include the use of lists of permitted species of plants and animals, a case-by-case risk assessment process for species not on these lists, and requirements for health certification and quarantining of imported stock. Once within Australia, however, translocation is less rigorously controlled, being managed by individual states and based largely on lists of prohibited species, though generally with scope for case-by-case assessment and refusal of permits for unwanted species, such as recognized pests. Wholesalers and retailers interviewed generally showed a responsible attitude to the disposal of dead or unwanted stock, but awareness and understanding of the potential pest risk of ornamental marine species was generally poor. The importance of raising public awareness of the pest potential of ornamental marine species is likely to increase with the growing importance of mail-order and internet trade. Copyright © 2011 Foundation for Environmental Conservation.


Berkelmans R.,Australian Institute of Marine Science | Berkelmans R.,Reef and Rainforest Research Center Ltd. | Weeks S.J.,Reef and Rainforest Research Center Ltd. | Weeks S.J.,University of Queensland | And 2 more authors.
Limnology and Oceanography | Year: 2010

We investigate a range of indices to quantify upwelling on the central Great Barrier Reef (GBR), Australia, so that environmental and biological relationships associated with upwelling in this area can be explored. We show that "Upwelling days" (the number of days of upwelling) and diurnal variation in subsurface temperature (maximum-minimum, 20-m depth) are satisfactory metrics to describe the duration and intensity of upwelling events, respectively. We use these to examine key characteristics of shelf-break upwelling in the central GBR. Our results show, somewhat paradoxically, that although upwelling involves cold water being brought near to the surface, it is linked to positive thermal anomalies on the GBR, both locally and regionally. Summers (December to February) with strongest upwelling occurred during the GBR-wide bleaching events of 1997-1998 and 2001-2002. Upwelling in the GBR is enhanced during doldrums conditions that were a feature of these summers. During these conditions, the poleward-flowing East Australian Current flows faster, lifting the thermocline closer to the surface, spilling more sub-thermocline waters onto the shelf. Doldrums conditions also result in intense local heating, stratification of the water column, and, when severe, coral bleaching. Upwelling intrusions are spatially restricted (central GBR), generally remain subsurface, and are often intermittent, allowing GBR-wide bleaching to occur despite conditions resulting in enhanced upwelling. Intense upwelling events precede anomalous seasonal temperature maxima by up to 2 months and bleaching by 1-3 wk, leading to the prospect of using upwelling activity as a seasonal forecasting index of unusually warm summers and widespread bleaching. © 2010, by the American Society of Limnology and Oceanography, Inc.

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