Mesophotic Reef Observation at Ningaloo Reef Park, NW AU

About 1,200 kilometers north of Perth, AU along the East Indian Ocean lies Ningaloo Marine Park, a deep reef ecosystem that supports a wide range of animals from whale sharks, turtles and other shallow and deep water habitat dwellers. The most unique feature of this 2,435 square km park is that the water depths range from 30m to more than 500m. In fact, 55% of Ningaloo Marine Park’s reefs are in water depths greater than 20 meters. These deep water reefs are called Mesophotic reefs, where light still reaches the seafloor and can be between 30 to 150 meters below the ocean’s surface. Because of the difficulties in accessing deeper parts of these marine environment, mesophotic reefs remain understudied globally. "By studying deep reef ecosystems and understanding the differences between shallow and deep water habitats will help determine the most important factors for long-term stability. “If these deepwater habitats are as important [...]