South-East Australian Marine Ecosystem Survey (SEA-MES)

Untangling the causes of change over 25 years in the south-east marine ecosystem.
Voyage No


28 Jun, 2023


30 Jul, 2023




Chief Scientist

Dr Richard Little



Voyage summary

Research voyage out of Hobart to conduct a repeat survey of the biodiversity and habitats of the marine waters of south-east Australia.

The marine waters of southeast Australia are one of a series of global ocean-warming hotspots. In this region, the ocean surface is warming at a rate four times the global average and many species have extended their distributions southward, with apparent changes in local abundance. Projections show that these changes will continue for the next century.

Fishery and ecosystem assessments were last conducted in this region 25 years ago. This voyage, called the South-East Australian Marine Ecosystem Survey (SEA-MES), will repeat the surveys to document changes and establish a new biological and environmental baseline. The knowledge generated will be essential for better planning and managing current and emerging industries, and protecting important habitats and species throughout the region.

There are no other projects on this voyage.

The voyage has 33 science participants from 3 institutions (and 20 crew from ASP Ship Management).

The South-East Australian Marine Ecosystem Survey team led by Dr Rich Little acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of the seas in which we are conducting this research. The research area includes Tasmanian, Victorian, New South Wales and Commonwealth waters. We pay our respects to elders past and present, and thank them for their continued stewardship over the lands, seas and skies in which we live, work and rest.

COVID Protocols

To safeguard the health and well-being of participants, strict COVID protocols apply to all activities on this voyage. This includes 2-phase PCR testing of all participants for COVID prior to boarding the vessel.

Voyage outcomes

A summary of voyage outcomes will be published approximately 3-6 months after the completion of the voyage.