Ecological Assessments

Our project team is experienced in assessing benthic flora and fauna, with the relevant techniques varying to reflect different substrate types. Standard techniques include infauna grabs, quadrat and transect surveys, towed and diver video, photo quadrats, and diver surveys for mobile invertebrates, fish, algae and sessile invertebrate communities. Usually a combination of these and similar techniques are utilised to characterise the marine community and also survey for threatened and protected species. Introduced species and sensitive habitats are also identified through this process. Within our team is specific expert knowledge of macroalgae, reef fish, coral and other benthic invertebrates’ identification.

Marine Solutions has designed and conducted numerous monitoring programs utilising benthic infauna as an indicator of impact. Notably among these was a three year study into impact from the Coffs Harbour deep sea release, and other ongoing studies in southern Tasmania monitoring impact of effluent outfalls. Marine Solutions has also conducted numerous finfish, algae, invertebrate and coral baseline surveys and monitoring in the past.

Selected Past Projects:

  • Ecological assessment of proposed jetty and boat ramp development, Fulham Island, Tasmania (Burbury Consulting)
  • Spotted Handfish population survey, Sandy Bay, Hobart (DSS)
  • Ecological assessment of public boardwalk development, Battery Point, Hobart (SKM/Hobart City Council)
  • Ecological assessment of port development, Triabunna, Tasmania (Burbury Consulting/Glamorgan Spring Bay Council)
  • Effluent outfall investigation, Derwent River, Hobart, Tasmania (TasWater)
  • Baseline survey/ecological assessment of Domgas pipeline route (DOF Subsea)
  • Marine ecological assessment for bridge redevelopment, Bridgewater Bridge (GHD)
  • Environmental impact assessment of effluent and wastewater disposal, Coffs Harbour, NSW (Coffs Harbour City Council)

Hydrographic Surveys

Our experience in bathymetric surveys, habitat mapping and cartography is extensive, having completed surveys in many areas in Australia. Utilising a boat mounted DGPS and dual frequency sounder linked to a data logging program and a laptop we produce detailed habitat and bathymetric maps to Australian hydrographic survey requirements. Habitat types are ground-truthed by a digital single CCD drop camera which records to an Archos PMA440 unit with GPS overlay function for later review.

Selected Past Projects:

  • Fine scale bathymetric mapping of proposed new farming zones, to Australian hydrographic standards and Marine Farming Branch Standards
  • Bathymetric mapping for dredge planning and management for TasPorts in various regions throughout Tasmania
  • Developing the bathymetry and a proposed pipeline route for an outfall in Napier, New Zealand
  • Planning and environmental assessment for the scuttling of the Troy D, Mercury Passage, Tasmania
  • Bathymetry of Medang Harbour, PNG, for input into wave and dispersal models
  • Port development, Hobart, Tasmania (TasPorts)
  • Public boardwalk proposed development, Battery Point, Hobart (SKM/Hobart City Council)
  • Port development, Triabunna (Burbury Consulting/ Glamorgan Spring Bay Council)
  • Effluent outfall investigation, Derwent River, Hobart, Tasmania (TasWater)
  • Effluent outfall investigation, northwest Tasmania (TasWater)
  • Pipeline route planning and assessment, Dover, Tasmania (Tassal)
  • Domgas pipeline route, Barrow Island (Marengo Mining/COFFEY)
  • Irrigation pipeline route planning and assessment, Bridgewater, Tasmania (Tasmanian Irrigation)
  • Outfall investigation, Port Sampson, NSW (Worley Parsons)

Research Charters

Marine Solutions has four vessels to cater for a wide variety of project types and working conditions. All vessels are in commercial survey.

The Abyss is a 14.0 m Cumberland power catamaran capable of undertaking projects throughout Tasmania and interstate. The Abyss is an ideal liveaboard vessel and has capacity for extended field trips with comfortable living quarters for clients and crew. The Abyss is cable of mapping bathymetry and habitats and is suitable as a base for research diving. It has a draft of 0.6 m and has a small tender.

We have a purpose built planing hull 6.0 m aluminium research vessel The Second  Solution, fitted with bathymetric and habitat mapping equipment, and with dive entry and exit fixtures for research divers. In addition, the vessel is fitted with computer logging equipment and towed video with recording capability. Furthermore it has powered lifting davits and sieving attachments for lifting and maneuvering heavy sampling equipment, a tender vessel and two sit-on-top kayaks.

Our outboard powered The Smooth Solution small rigid hull inflatable boat is suitable for near-shore rivers, lakes and sheltered shallow waters.

A recent addition to our fleet is The Environmental Solution. This vessel is a 6.0 m Hobson trihull with twin 90 horsepower engines. It has powered lifting davits and sieving attachments for lifting and manoeuvring heavy sampling equipment, and is capable of accommodating our vessel-mounted ADCP set-up.  It is equipped with sounder and GPS for bathymetric mapping.  With a dive ladder and a very stable work platform, The Environmental Solution is a suitable platform for conducting dive work. It is primarily based in Macquarie Harbour for increased capacity in the west/north west region.