Studies in Shark Bay in Western Australia May Benefit Florida Bay in Miami

Written by on December 21, 2012 in Marine Life, Physical Oceanography
Zuytdorp Cliffs, Western Australia.

Zuytdorp Cliffs, Western Australia. Photo credit: Kevin Whelan.

Shark Bay in Western Australia and Florida Bay in Miami have similar marine environments–tropical with the same geological, biological, and chemical components. But, according to researchers from the University of Western Australia (UWA), no one is taking advantage of these similarities.

A 2011 workshop, led by UWA’s Professor Gary Kendrick and Florida International University‘s James Fourqurean, inspired researchers to focus on Shark Bay and Florida Bay and eventually led to a 23-paper special edition of CSIRO’s Marine and Freshwater Research.

The Special Issue focuses on a compilation of individual research from Shark Bay and Florida Bay over the past ten years. It also highlights gaps in our knowledge base and shows that much of the research, while excellent, is poorly integrated and therefore does little to help create successful management of either Bay.

“Shark Bay should be viewed as a semi-pristine ecosystem and a ‘pristine template’ to management and restoration efforts in Florida Bay and other sub-tropical bays,” said Professor Kendrick, “Yet the Shark Bay system as a whole is poorly studied despite it having been granted World Heritage status more than 20 years ago.”

To learn more:

Florida Bay.

Florida Bay. Photo credit: NOAA.

Copyright © 2012 by Marine Science Today, a publication of Marine Science Today LLC.

About the Author

About the Author: Emily Tripp is the Publisher and Editor of She holds marine science and biology degrees from the University of Miami's Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science and a Master of Advanced Studies degree in Marine Biodiversity and Conservation from Scripps Institution of Oceanography. When she's not writing about marine science, she's probably running around outside or playing with her dog. .


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