[Coral-List] Kimberley Marine Research Station

Ali McCarthy research at cygnetbaypearls.com.au
Wed Jul 27 18:17:34 EDT 2011

Western Australia’s Kimberley region is considered the planet’s last 

 great tropical marine wilderness and, alongside the polar Arctic and 

 Antarctic, falls within the remaining 3.7% of the world’s oceans 

 least affected by human impacts. It is a vast, remote, pristine 

 region characterised by 13,500km of dynamic and intricate coastline, 

 2,633 near-shore islands and a unique wealth of marine biodiversity. 

 Due to the complex and isolated nature of the Kimberley coast, the 

 region’s marine environments remain largely untouched but also 

 unchartered and unstudied. In the face of this knowledge gap, 

 pressure from climate change and broad-scale development of tourism 

 and natural resource sectors poses significant impact risks to the 

 natural integrity and ecosystem function of the Kimberley’s marine 

 environments. This is a critical time for the Kimberley, and the 

 need for the science to bridge this void is imperative.


Based on preliminary surveys, between 250 and 280 species of hard 

 corals and 140 species of sponge have been identified to date in 

 Kimberley waters. With 11m tides- the second largest on the planet- 

 these are the most diverse coral reefs in Western Australia and face 

 the largest tidal amplitude of any tropical reef systems on Earth. 

 Kimberley coral reef systems, including the spectacular 

 300km² Montgomery Reef, are now believed to rival the reefs of the 

 Red Sea in terms of extent and are described by prominent Kimberley 

 coral geoscientist Dr Barry Wilson as “the Serengeti of the marine world”.


Perched on the tip of the Kimberley’s iconic Dampier Peninsula, the 

 Kimberley Marine Research Station (KMRS) is the first and only 

 fully operational marine research facility in the region. 

 Established in 2009, KMRS is located on Australia’s oldest entirely 

 family-owned pearl farm, Cygnet Bay Pearls, which continues to 

 operate as one of Australia’s longest running aquaculture ventures 

 from the same remote mainland site as it has done since 1946. Today, 

 KMRS offers our pearl farm base, vessels, infrastructure, personnel 

 and 65 years’ worth of local knowledge to the science community. In 

 doing so, our aim is to provide the services and support required to 

 help install a greater independent research effort in the Kimberley. 

 We invite the science community to help us achieve the 4 research 

 priorities we have identified for the region, which include establishing:


· Broad-scale biodiversity baselines of the range of marine and

coastal ecosystems


· Human-use and socioeconomic surveys of the coastline


· Long-term oceanographic monitoring programs


· Monitoring systems to gauge the rate and impacts of climate

change on local marine environments.



“Research opportunity: New and exciting information is revealed 

 almost every time a scientific survey is undertaken in the wild and 

 remote Kimberley region with new fish, sponges, coral reef species 

 and other marine wildlife being recorded in recent years”


-WA Gov DEC & Marine Parks & Reserves Authority, Proposed Camden 

 Sound Marine Park Indicative Management Plan 2010



 Please give us a call; we look forward to hearing from you.


The Kimberley Marine Research Station

research at cygnetbaypearls.com.au


Cygnet Bay Pearls, Dampier Peninsula, Western Australia

phone + 61 89192 4999   






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