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    Water samples collected on the RV Investigator Transit voyage IN2018_T01 were analysed for concentration of chlorophyll a.

  • During the RV Investigator Eddy voyage (IN2016_V02), we sampled a mesoscale cyclonic and anticyclonic eddy in the Southern Ocean south to Tasmania. We have collected water samples to analyse concentration of phytoplankton biomass and nutrients.

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    Conducted under the Coast and Clean Seas program of the Natural Heritage Trust fund, this study provides a summary and assessment of water quality parameters, as indicators of estuarine health, in 22 selected Tasmanian estuaries. The estuaries are: Duck Bay, East Inlet, Black River, Don River, Mersey River, Port Sorell, Boobyalla Inlet, Little Musselroe River, Ansons Bay, Grants Lagoon, Douglas River, Great Swanport, Meredith River, Little Swanport, Earlham Lagoon, Browns River, Cloudy Bay Lagoon, Catamaran River, Cockle Creek, Pieman River, Nelson Bay River and Arthur River (for location, see Fig. 1 in the attached report). Information is summarised on both a State wide and individual estuary basis.

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    A 12-month program was developed and implemented in order to obtain baseline information on water quality (salinity, water temperature, dissolved oxygen, turbidity, pH, dissolved nutrients, silica), ecological condition as shown by Chlorophyll a, benthic macroinvertebrates, pathogens, and habitat extent determined from habitat mapping. Five key estuaries and coastal waters were assessed in the Southern NRM Region of Tasmania. This data includes sampling from Pitt Water / Orielton Lagoon, North West Bay, Port Cygnet, Little Swanport, Moulting Lagoon / Great Swanport.

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    Physical and chemical parameters at five Pacific oyster (Crassostrea gigas) growing areas in Tasmania - Pittwater, Pipeclay Lagoon, Little Swanport, Georges Bay and Simpsons Bay - were measured as part of a study to determine the carrying capacity of the areas for oyster farming. This has provided valuable environmental data for these areas. The hydrodynamic regimes at each area except Simpsons Bay were studied, including high and low water volumes, flushing rates, flow rates and depth contours. Temperature, salinity and concentrations of nitrates, phosphates, silicates and chlorophyll a were measured monthly at several sites in each area. The change in these parameters over different time scales also was examined at two sites in Pittwater and indicated temporal and spatial variability in the environmental parameters measured.

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    This study considered a range of water-column and sediment (benthos) based variables commonly used to monitor estuaries,utilising estuaries on the North-West Coast of Tasmania (Duck, Montagu, Detention, and Black River). These included: salinity, dissolved oxygen, turbidity, nutrient and chlorophyll a levels for the water-column; and sediment redox, organic carbon content, chlorophyll a and macroinvertebrate community structure amongst the benthos. In addition to comparing reference with impacted estuaries, comparisons were also made across seasons, commensurate with seasonal changes in freshwater river input, and between regions within estuaries (upper and lower reaches) - previously identified in Hirst et al. (2005). This design enabled us to examine whether the detection of impacts (i.e. differences between reference and impacted systems) was contingent on the time and location of sampling or independent of these factors. This data includes sampling from Duck River, Montagu River, Detention River, and Black River.

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    Chlorophyll a concentration is widely used as a proxy to describe trends in phytoplankton biomass over spatial and temporal scales. The concentration of chlorophyll a in Storm Bay showed surprisingly little variation across the seasons. There was a gradient in concentration from site 1 to site 3, where chlorophyll a decreased slightly. It was highest and most variable at the inshore sites 1 and 9, and lowest at site 3, furthest out in the bay. There was no clear annually recurrent seasonal bloom, although data suggests higher values in spring and autumn (see later time series).

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    We implemented a monitoring program developed by Crawford and White (2006), which was designed to assess the current condition of six key estuaries in NW Tasmania: Port Sorell, the Leven, Inglis, Black, Montagu and Arthur River estuaries. This study considered a range of water quality and ecological indictors commonly used to monitor estuaries. These included: salinity, temperature, dissolved oxygen, turbidity, pH, nutrients (nitrate + nitrite, dissolved reactive phosphorus and ammonia), silica molybdate reactive and chlorophyll a for the water column; chlorophyll a and macroinvertebrate community structure amongst the sediments.