Scientist Johann Gustafson from Griffith University, USQ PhD student Daniel Briewa and University Southern Queensland Associate Professor in Climatology Dr Joachim Ribbe recently measured the Bay's water temperature, salinity, turbidity and underwater light as part of an ongoing research project.
Scientist Johann Gustafson from Griffith University, USQ PhD student Daniel Briewa and University Southern Queensland Associate Professor in Climatology Dr Joachim Ribbe recently measured the Bay's water temperature, salinity, turbidity and underwater light as part of an ongoing research project. Photographer: Jocelyn Watts

Hervey Bay waters getting a check-up after floods

RECENT flooding on the Fraser Coast is helping a joint research program from two universities on factors that could impact the fishing industry.

The surge of fresh water entering Hervey Bay is providing valuable data for University of Southern Queensland (USQ) and Griffith University research.

USQ's Associate Professor in Climatology Dr Joachim Ribbe, USQ PhD student Daniel Briewa and scientist Johann Gustafson from Griffith University recently measured the Bay's water temperature, salinity, turbidity and underwater light as part of an ongoing research project and found this year's floods provided important information.

Dr Ribbe said that with heavy rain in the past two years and now the recent flooding, a lot of fresh water was flowing into the Bay.

"As that water flushes out of the Bay it will lower salinity," he said.

"Our main interest is to understand how the oceanic circulation of water moves from one place to another and Hervey Bay's estuaries and marine life respond to flood and drought events," Dr Ribbe said.

"This research is particularly important for the sustainable natural resource management of the region. For example, fish larvae are found in estuaries and being non-mobile, they float in water and ocean circulations determine where they go."