The mysteries of the Perth Canyon, carved millions of years ago by the Swan River but now submerged deep beneath the waves 22 kilometres west of Rottnest Island, have been caught on camera for the first time by scientists at The University of Western Australia's Centre for Marine Futures and CSIRO.
Filmed between 100 and 500 metres beneath the surface, scientists have captured startling images of the vulnerable pink snapper at depth, giant squid, deepwater sharks, synchronised swimming by rays and billowing sand clouds.
The underwater video will be revealed next Tuesday (JUNE 8 - WORLD OCEANS DAY) as part of a cross-party tour by federal politicians including Dr Mal Washer (Liberal MP for Moore), Ms Melissa Parke (Labor MP for Fremantle) and Ms Rachel Siewert (Senator for The Greens) to learn about the groundbreaking research scientists are conducting on WA's marine environment.
Scientists are concerned about WA's declining fish stocks and that less than one per cent of WA's oceans has any protection in place to provide safe havens for the recovery of marine life.
The Perth Canyon is 5,000 feet deep and 15 kilometres wide. It is Australia's largest submarine canyon and equal in size to the Grand Canyon in Arizona, USA.
The Perth Canyon is also one of only two places in Australia that the rare and endangered blue whale - the largest animal ever known to have lived - comes to feed.
Media representatives are invited to accompany Centre for Marine Futures' Director Professor Jessica Meeuwig on the tour of the facility to hear about recent research discoveries and to see the screening of the Perth Canyon footage.
When: Tuesday, 8 June 2010, 12-1pm
Where: UWA Oceans Institute, 39 Fairway, Crawley
* Broadcast quality copies of the Perth Canyon footage will be available (with some still images).