Science in the Torres Strait

Torres Strait Research


The Torres Strait region is known for its ecological complexity, biodiversity and relatively pristine marine and island environments. The region provides a multitude of habitats for the highly diverse Indo-Pacific marine flora and fauna, including dugongs (listed as vulnerable) and marine turtles (listed as endangered). It has the largest continuous area of seagrass meadows in the world, significant areas of coral reefs with high biodiversity, extensive areas of mangroves, particularly on the northern islands, and productive fisheries.

The strategic location of the Torres Strait places it at risk from the downstream impacts of shipping, mining, resource over-exploitation, increasing tropical diseases and future climate change.

Further information about current and past projects RRRC manages within the Torres Strait are linked below:


Status of the Ecosystems
NERP 2.1 Marine turtle and dugongs of Torres Strait Helene Marsh and Mark Hamann, JCU
NERP 2.2 Mangrove and freshwater habitat status of Torres Strait islands Norm Duke and Damian Burrows, JCU
NERP 2.3 Monitoring the health of Torres Strait coral reefs Ray Berkelmans, AIMS
MTSRF 1.3.1 Traditional knowledge systems and climate change in the Torres Strait Kevin Parnell and Karen McNamara, JCU
MTSRF 1.3.2 Ecological role and potential economic value of sponges to the Torres Strait Steve Whalan, AIMS
MTSRF 1.3.3 Economic analysis of alternative uses, trade-offs James Butler, CSIRO
MTSRF 1.3.4 Communication, community engagement and enhanced delivery Vic McGrath, TSRA
MTSRF 1.3.5 Data integration and synthesis for development of reports on ecosystem health in the Torres Strait region James Butler, CSIRO
Risks and Threats to the Ecosystems
NERP 4.4 Hazard assessment for water quality threats to Torres Strait marine waters, ecosystems and public health Jon Brodie, JCU
Sustainable Use and Management
NERP 11.1 Building resilient communities for Torres Strait futures James Butler, CSIRO
NERP 11.2 Improved approaches for the detection and prevention of wildlife diseases in the Torres Strait Susan Laurence, JCU