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EARTH SCIENCE | BIOSPHERE | ECOSYSTEMS | MARINE ECOSYSTEMS | PELAGIC

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    This dataset describes visual sightings of marine megafauna (whales, dolphins and sharks) obtained during a series of dedicated aerial surveys conducted as part of a NESP Marine Biodiversity Hub project within and around the Bremer Marine Park, southern Western Australia. The data reflect 25 hours of observer effort (on transect), and 62 sightings of four identifiable species, including killer whales (Orcinus orca), sperm whales (Physeter macrocephalus), long-finned pilot whales (Globicephala melas), and bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops sp.). Numerous unidentified cetaceans and sharks were also seen. For more information, see: https://www.nespmarine.edu.au/project/ep2-surveying-marine-life-canyons-bremer-bay

  • This dataset relates to deployments of pelagic stereo-BRUVS conducted by the University of Western Australia within and to the west of the Bremer Marine Park in February/March 2017. The survey was undertaken to provide a baseline assessment of the pelagic assemblages occurring in the region as part of the NESP Marine Biodiversity Hub Emerging Priorities Project #EP2 (https://www.nespmarine.edu.au/project/ep2-surveying-marine-life-canyons-bremer-bay). A total of 791 individuals from 13 taxa were identified.

  • Latex balloons act like plastic in the ocean: they can travel far from their point of origin on atmospheric and water currents and float at the sea surface where they can be eaten by wildlife that mistake it for food. This study quantified the degradation behaviours of latex balloons in saltwater, freshwater, and industrial compost windrows over 16 weeks. The degradation of latex balloons was quantified with bi-weekly measurements of 1) changes in mass; 2) ultimate tensile strength; and 3) changes in surficial composition of balloons via attenuated total reflectance Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (ATR-FTIR). This study tested whether degradation differed between two balloon colours (blue and white) and whether degradation differed between balloons whose packaging labels included the word "biodegradable" and balloons whose packaging did not contain the word "biodegradable", and were thus labeled as "traditional" balloons. Thus, these data consist of 1) mass measurements; 2) load-extension data used to determine ultimate tensile strength; and 3) ATR-FTIR spectra of latex balloons across the variables balloon type (biodegradable; traditional), colour (blue; white), and week sampled (0-16 weeks). Also included are measurements of balloons that did not undergo treatments and are either straight out of the package ("new") or balloons that were inflated but did not undergo any treatments ("inflated").