Study looks at impact of anchors on the Australian seabed

The University of Wollongong in Australia is launching a study looking at the impact anchors and chains have on Australia’s marine ecosystems.

Marine biologist Andy Davis, from the Centre for Sustainable Ecosystem Solutions, said the study aimed to find ways to offset potential damage anchors are having on Australia’s deep sea marine environments.

“These vessels are anchoring in somewhere between 40 and 60 metres of water and we are concerned there may be impacts on habitats,” he said.

Deepsea beds off Port Kembla and Newcastle, in New South Wales, as well as Port Dampier, in Western Australia, and the Port of Townsville, in Queensland, will all be mapped and studied.

Marks on the seafloor caused by anchor chains can be up to 250 m long, and an individual chain link can weigh up to 200 kilograms.

Sam Chambers

Starting out with the Informa Group in 2000 in Hong Kong, Sam Chambers became editor of Maritime Asia magazine as well as East Asia Editor for the world’s oldest newspaper, Lloyd’s List. In 2005 he pursued a freelance career and wrote for a variety of titles including taking on the role of Asia Editor at Seatrade magazine and China correspondent for Supply Chain Asia. His work has also appeared in The Economist, The New York Times, The Sunday Times and The International Herald Tribune.
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