Cleaning up the Coral Sea

The two Coral Sea Voyage crews have taken advantage of ideal weather conditions over the past couple of days to continue debris clean-up activities and explore coral isles and cays in the search for new species. Both vessels are equipped with smaller boats enabling access to shallow waters where reefs are close to the surface

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Image credit | Keith Martin-Smith

 

And clear waters have enabled divers to capture stunning pictures of marine plants and animals, and commence sample collection.

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Interior of a giant spider conch | Image credit Keith Martin-Smith

 

Dr Andrew Hosie from WA Museum gathers crustaceans

Dr Andrew Hosie from WA Museum gathers crustaceans which may include new species | Image credit Keith Martin-Smith

Sample collection extends beyond the marine world, with scientists exploring the islands for land-dwelling insects like moths.

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Dr Andreas Zwick, CSIRO | Image credit Keith Martin-Smith

 

Once caught and killed, the moth’s wings are pinned to display their unique patterns – a task which requires a certain degree of skill!  Some of the pins are so small, one false move can lead to surgical removal! Yikes!

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Assorted species collected so far include a hawk moth (front) | Keith Martin-Smith

The voyage continues this week, with both vessels scheduled to return to Cairns this Thursday and Friday.

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