A surprising array of species has been uncovered in the Coral Sea Marine Park during a voyage to monitor island health in the area.
But the discovery was tarnished with 10 cubic metres of debris being recovered.
The voyage to assess islands, sea bird populations and diversity, vegetation, invasive species and marine debris in the marine park was made in June by a team from Parks Australia, Queensland Parks and Wildlife, Tangaroa Blue and volunteer botanists.
The Coral Sea Marine Park, off the coast of Queensland, is more than 900,000 square kiloemtres in size - three times the size of the adjacent Great Barrier Reef Marine Park.
Parks Australia Head of Division, Jason Mundy, said "It's vital that we understand and protect this pristine environment, together with other partners within and beyond government".
Highlights during the voyage included some pleasant discoveries:
Mr Mundy said these outcomes demonstrate the importance of remote islands as a wild and relatively unimpacted refuge for bird colonies-and the need for ongoing monitoring of their health and continued prevention of the potentially devastating effects of invasive species.
Around 10 cubic metres of marine debris was collected, which included 240 meters of plastic bottles, placed end to end, for recycling.
"The marine debris recovered is consistent with previous voyages, where everything from plastic bottles and fishing nets to thongs and shipping ropes has been collected," Mr Mundy said.
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