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Developing methods for commercially farming bath sponges in the Palm Island group, central Great Barrier Reef

In August 2005, experimental farming of the sponges Coscinoderma sp. and Rhopaloiedes odorabile commenced at three of the nine islands of the Palm Island group in the central Great Barrier Reef: Great Palm Island (1 site), Fantome Island (3 sites) and Pelorus Island (2 sites).Eleven farming techniques were tested. These were grouped into four general categories: threaded line, cut explant, spike and mesh panel methods. Within each category different materials such as nylon, polyethylene and polypropylene lines or different compartment sizes were trialled.Sponge explants were obtained by partially harvesting approximately 20 sponges of each species from the local populations, keeping the sponges underwater at all times. Both Coscinoderma sp. and Rhopaloiedes odorabile explants were deployed within 2 x 2 m plastic grids, suspended upright 3 m from the substrate at an average depth of 12 m. Three grids were used per sponge species, each holding 5 replicates of each treatment (farming technique). Survival and growth of the explants were monitored in situ every few months over a period of 2 years to determine if there were also seasonal differences.The importance of a nursery period for Coscinoderma sp. and Rhopaloiedes odorabile was examined by comparing growth and survival of explants threaded onto 4 mm nylon line, explants farmed in mesh panels and explants placed in mesh panels for 4 months then threaded onto nylon line. Explants were obtained by partially harvesting approximately 5 individuals of each species. For both species, 5 replicates of each treatment were used. The ropes or mesh strips were >= 1 m apart, in an upright position at a depth of approximately 12m. Each method replicate had 5 explants approximately 15 cm apart. The explants were farmed for a period of 9 months.

Data and Resources

Additional Info

Field Value
Title Developing methods for commercially farming bath sponges in the Palm Island group, central Great Barrier Reef
Type Dataset
Language English
Licence Other
Data Status inactive
Update Frequency never
Landing Page https://data.gov.au/data/dataset/4a326683-4f7e-4587-acbf-caf09a32bf25
Date Published 2017-06-24
Date Updated 2023-08-11
Contact Point
Australian Institute of Marine Science
adc@aims.gov.au
Temporal Coverage 2017-06-24 12:45:46
Geospatial Coverage {"type": "Point", "coordinates": [146.49652, -18.552621]}
Jurisdiction Commonwealth of Australia
Data Portal data.gov.au
Publisher/Agency Australian Institute of Marine Science