Standard Presentation (15 mins) Australian Marine Sciences Association 2022

Mapping Marra Sea Country: From above, below and the spaces between (#72)

Rachel A Groom 1 2 3 , Catherine Collier 4 , Alex Carter 4 , Lloyd Shepherd 4 , Chris van de Wetering 4 , Shaun Evans 5 , David Barrett 5 , Emma Barrett 2
  1. Charles Darwin University - Australian Institute of Marine Science, Nightcliff, NT, Australia
  2. Northern Institute, Charles Darwin University , Darwin, NT, Australia
  3. Australian Institute of Marine Science, Darwin, NT, Australia
  4. TropWATER, James Cook University, Cairns, QLD, Australia
  5. li-Anthawirriyarra Land and Sea Ranger Unit, Borroloola, NT, Australia

Marra Sea Country stretches across the Limmen Bight region in the southern Gulf of Carpentaria, Northern Territory (NT), and covers multiple jurisdictions: Aboriginal land, the Territory’s Limmen Bight Marine Park, and the Commonwealth’s Limmen Marine Park. The cultural knowledge in this region is rich and well-documented, however, the marine biodiversity values in the region have not been studied in detail. The li-Anthawirriyarra land and sea rangers, Marra Traditional Owners, scientists from James Cook University and Charles Darwin University co-designed a marine benthic survey using a mixed methods approach. We found extensive and diverse seagrass - a meadow more than 75 km in length with dugong feeding trails throughout, occurrence of a rare sponge, fields of feather stars and coral bleaching. The knowledges underpinning the cultural and biodiversity values will be woven together to form a monitoring framework and then a program for future monitoring by the rangers.