The survey of the marine flora and fauna of the Dampier Archipelago began with a diving and shore-based expedition in 1998 (DA1/98). In 1999 a dredging expedition (DA2/99) was conducted, followed by a diving expedition (DA3/99) in the same year. An additional diving expedition occurred in 2000 (DA4/00), which focused on the documentation and biology of organisms not examined during the previous research. The research conducted between 1998 and 2000 concentrated on several groups of organisms, particularly marine algae, sponges, hard corals, crustaceans, molluscs, echinoderms and fishes.
In 1998, 35 stations were sampled in the eastern part of the archipelago (Stations DA1/98/01-35), with all but two of these stations being located north of Searipple Passage (Figure 3). The 1999 diving expedition included a further 35 stations (Stations DA3/99/36-70), located in the area west of the Burrup Peninsula. The dredging expedition of 1999 involved sampling from 100 stations, which were broadly distributed across the Dampier Archipelago. The research conducted in 2000 was associated with an international marine biological workshop. The stations selected for study were scattered throughout the Dampier Archipelago region and not all groups of organisms were sampled at each station.
Diving Expeditions (DA1/98, DA3/99 and DA4/00)
The dive surveys employed two different methodologies. Stations located in sub-tidal areas were sampled by SCUBA diving and snorkelling, while shore-based stations in the inter-tidal zone were surveyed during periods of extreme low tide. Data on the presence and abundance of species was recorded, and voucher specimens were collected. The 1998 and 1999 diving expeditions also included the video recording of the substrate along a 25 m transect at each of the sub-tidal stations. In 1998, transects were not replicated, but during the 1999 expedition transects were video-taped in triplicate. Specimens were also collected from these transects, so a repeated defined area was studied at each station.
Dredging Expedition (DA2/99)
The 1999 dredging expedition primarily involved the use of a rake box dredge with a mouth area of 1200 cm x 330 cm and with a 1.0 cm mesh wire and steel collecting basket. The dredge was towed for 10 minutes at a speed of 2-3 knots, except when interrupted by snagging. At several stations (DA2/99/2a, 44, 80, 86, 92-96 and 100), a sleeve of fly-screen was inserted into a shovel box dredge for the collection of smaller fauna. At three of the 100 dredge stations (DA2/99/11, 14 and 97) substrates were sampled with a benthic grab.
This website makes the findings of the marine biodiversity surveys available to the wider scientific community and other interested parties. Please note that not all of the information has been included in this site. However, more detailed data from the initial surveys can be found in Jones, D. S. (ed.). (2004). Report on the results of the Western Australia Museum/Woodside Energy Ltd. Partnership to explore the Marine Biodiversity of the Dampier Archipelago, Western Australia 1998-2002. Records of the Western Australian Museum, Supplement 66: vii-xv, 1-401. This publication can be purchased from the Western Australian Museum Bookshop. Further information can also be obtained by contacting the research staff of the Western Australian Museum’s Department of Aquatic Zoology.