Southern Australia Reef Discovery Rivals Great Barrier Reef Say Researchers

Posted on September 1, 2015

Fish in reef at Wilsons Promontory National Park

Researchers say a coral reef discovered off the coast of southern Australia rivals the Great Barrier Reef in Queensland. The marine life in Wilsons Promontory Marine National Park was recently explored using a Remotely Operated Vehicle (ROV). The ROV enabled researchers to record the stunning marine life found at 30 to 100 meters deep.

Some of the marine life found include massive coral fans, large sea whips and colorful sponge gardens. There are also house-sized boulders and caverns that are home to a diverse range of fish, colorful sponges and hard and soft coral species. The region is also home to complex underwater dune systems.

Colorful coral in reef at Wilsons Promontory National Park

ABC News Australia reports that some fish considered rare to Victoria were also found, such as Australian barracuda and longsnout boarfish.

Parks Victoria Marine Science Manager Steffan Howe says in the announcement, "The exciting discoveries follow previous research that mapped the park's sea floor in detail. The maps identified some amazing underwater structures very deep beneath the ocean, but we did not know what sort of marine life was there. These latest expeditions used cutting-edge technology including underwater video cameras and a robotic vehicle to record the spectacular marine life found in many of the deeper areas of the park for the first time."

The CNN video contains some of the footage recorded by the ROV's underwater camera. Take a look:

Photos: Parks Victoria