Flexible, scalable marine operations, anywhere, anytime...
Our Reef & Field Services division provides clients with marine logistical support for in and on water activities anywhere on the Great Barrier Reef. We specialise in marine operations large and small for government, management, research and industry.
Based in Mackay we have surveyed vessels in a variety of sizes that can travel or trailer as required. We provide skilled professional crew and staff to match your practical needs and can put together teams to meet your survey and data collecting requirements. We understand the need for rigorous quality control and adherence to protocols to ensure programs are efficient and collect data cost effectively
Marine operations require flexibility and we can arrange vessels (our own or chartered) to schedule work in weather windows. We can offer tailored solutions (small and large vessel) to run operations cost effectively inshore, mid shelf and outer shelf.
CLIENT: GREAT BARRIER REEF MARINE PARK AUTHORITY
Crown-of-Thorns Starfish Control Program
Ultra Coral Australia is a service provider for the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority’s (GBRMPA) crown-of-thorns starfish control program. The control program aims to mitigate or prevent coral mortality caused by crown-of-thorns starfish (COTS) from going beyond acceptable limits. It allows for coral recovery through systematic culling of COTS aggregations that pose an immediate threat to reefs with high economic, cultural, and ecological significance. Our operations are concentrated on 55 reefs within the Mackay region, Swains region, and Capricorn Bunker Group. Our 18-metre research vessel, Diversity, can accommodate 2 dories and 15 berths. All dories are equipped with surface supplied underwater breathing apparatus and in-water communication systems. We are currently conducting surveys and culling at reefs experiencing COTS outbreaks in the southern GBR.
CLIENT: CRUISE WHITSUNDAYS
Removal, transplantation, and monitoring of coral and giant clams from old Reefworld Pontoon chains, Hardy Reef, Whitsundays
The Reefworld Pontoon endured substantial damage during Cyclone Debbie on the 27th of March 2017, which resulted in the removal of the pontoon for repair and reconstruction. The existing chains that held the pontoon in place will no longer be in the correct position for the new pontoon and a new anchoring system will be used. The main objective of this project is to minimise coral mortality during chain extraction by salvaging corals and giant clams growing on or directly adjacent to chains and carefully transporting them to receptor sites on the same reef complex. Receptor sites have been selected to correspond with the depth where the corals to be transplanted were originally growing ensuring minimal stress. Post-transplantation monitoring of survival and growth rates will be conducted. Chain extraction has to be environmentally sensitive and must comply with the Cruise Whitsundays’ Great Barrier Reef EMP.
- Preliminary surveys of benthic cover in donor and receptor sites
- Establishment of semi-permanent transect sites along receptor sites
- Extraction of corals and giant clams on and adjacent to chains
- Transplantation of corals and giant clams to receptor sites
- Baseline surveys at receptor and control sites
- Training of relevant Cruise Whitsundays staff on survey methods and handover of monitoring protocols
“Recently Cruise Whitsundays partnered with Ultra Coral to conduct a Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority (GBRMPA) approved coral transplant at Hardy Reef. This is the largest natural coral transplant ever to be executed on the Great Barrier Reef to date.
Throughout the execution of the extraction, the Ultra Coral team presented themselves professionally at all times, were highly safety conscious and interacted with crew respectfully. All guests whom were interested in the project the Ultra Coral team took the time to educate and interact with on a number of occasions. The Ultra Coral team even participated in video interviews of the progress throughout the project for Cruise Whitsundays documentation.
As the joint permit is for the next 3 years Cruise Whitsundays feels privileged to be working with Ultra Coral and we look forward to a harmonious working relationship in the future.”
Guest Experience Manager