Deep Reefs

Deep rocky reef at Barwon Bluff

Reefs that are hidden from sunlight in deeper water, or under ledges, often have brightly coloured communities of invertebrates, many of which rival coral reefs for colour and diversity. These sponge gardens contain many animals that filter their food from the water and include many species that are poorly known to science. By protecting some of these areas as Marine National Parks and Marine Sanctuaries, we are ensuring that species are not lost before we can learn about them.

These areas are also important because they provide habitat for many species of fish, and our two most commercially valuable marine species, the Rock Lobster and the Abalone.