BRUVS in Hamelin Pool - Part II: Collecting the data

on 22 Nov 2016 
Hooking the buoy

The Hamelin Pool BRUVS (baited remote underwater video stations) Project is a collaborative effort between Bush Heritage, Department of Parks and Wildlife, James Cook University and Curtin University to uncover the sea life in Hamelin Pool. 

The majority of the Shark Bay World Heritage Area is covered by water, comprising 70% of the total area and containing geological and biological features that contribute towards meeting all four natural criteria.

The Hamelin Pool Marine Nature Reserve was the most significant site for the World Heritage designation as the outstanding display of diverse Stromatolites and their valuable insight to the benthic ecosystems of early Earth can be found nowhere else. Hamelin Station Reserve shares its western boundary with the Shark Bay World Heritage Area, specifically the coastline of Hamelin Pool.  

Although many geobiological studies have focused on the Stromatolites of Hamelin Pool, the faunal assemblage in the Pool has gone largely ignored. As outlined in BRUVS in Hamelin Pool - Part I: What are BRUVS? the lack of baseline data in Hamelin Pool leaves us unable to assess the current health of the system, and the impact of heat waves along with the changing climate.  

The initial BRUVS campaign is currently underway and will continue through the month of November with field participants including Erica Suosaari, Greg Suosaari, and Kelly Campbell. The next iteration of the project is tentatively scheduled for mid next year.

With a long-term monitoring plan to continue to 2020, we expect to establish a robust baseline understanding of the current faunal assemblage of Hamelin Pool including how the assemblage relates to the environment. Using BRUVS will enable us to catalog the faunal assemblage as well as provide insight to how best-practice land management can benefit the Pool through time.

So far, we've completed nearly 100 BRUVS drops and are beginning to uncover Hamelin Pool’s faunal secrets. Although in some areas, recordings have not shown a lot of signs of life, other areas are teeming with fish and snakes.

Project design by Blanche D'Anastasi (JCU) and Erica Suosaari (Bush Heritage), BRUVS provided by the WA Department of Parks and Wildlife.