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TV Bluefin has recently returned from a two-week voyage to survey the southern-most platform coral reefs in the world.
December 16, 2019
Australian Maritime College flagship training vessel TV Bluefin has recently returned from a two-week voyage to survey seafloor habitats and biodiversity around the southern-most platform coral reefs in the world.
The 35-meter vessel was chartered by a group of 16 researchers and technicians from the Institute for Marine and Antarctic Studies, University of Tasmania; Geoscience Australia, the Australian Centre for Field Robotics, University of Sydney; and the Department of Primary Industries, NSW.
The team collected data that will guide future monitoring and management of the Elizabeth and Middleton reefs located in the Lord Howe Marine Park, 550 kilometres east of Port Macquarie, NSW.
They set out from the Port of Newcastle in late January and spent eight days in the marine park acquiring seafloor bathymetry (underwater depth of the sea floor), imagery, seabed samples and shallow sub-surface data.
Bluefin’s specialist knuckle crane arm was used to deploy an autonomous underwater vehicle (AUV) to gather imagery of biological communities across reef and sediment habitats.
TV Bluefin is particularly well suited for this type of survey work due to the crane and its stern platform that can be lowered for launching other vessels, said AMC Search Manager of Projects and Infrastructure, Nic Bender.
“Bluefin has a spacious bridge that provides ample room for survey equipment and can safely deploy an AUV due to its knuckle boom crane capability.
“With its Passenger Standard accommodation that can accommodate up to 23 researchers and crew, Bluefin is an ideal vessel for conducting marine science missions in and around Australia.”