A partnership between UOW and NSW Ports, initiated to explore options for ecosystem-based management of seafloor environments, has the potential to benefit marine life not only in the waters off Port Kembla but at ports around Australia and around the globe.

The partnership builds on an existing collaboration between UOW and the NSW Office of Environment and Heritage (OEH) to map sections of seafloor near ocean-going vessel anchorages, while gathering data as part of OEH’s Seabed NSW project, announced earlier this year.

Seeded by UOW’s Global Challenges Program, an interdisciplinary research team is examining how deep-water anchors affect seabed ecosystems. The aim is to identify areas of high conservation value while working with the shipping industry to create sustainable anchoring practices.

Marine scientist Allison Broad (pictured above), from UOW’s School of Biological Sciences, said the research was important as large vessels’ anchors and anchor chains can disrupt marine life when they drag across the seabed.

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