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Keep an Eye on the Reef

img_0229_small.jpgKeep an eye on the reef

If you spend time out on the water or by the water’s edge then you should think about downloading the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority’s mobile app “Eye on the Reef”.

The app is one of the tools that GBRMPA and marine scientists use to learn more about the location of marine creatures. 
It enables scientists and reef managers to better target research and monitoring activities.

Eye on the Reef is a program started in 1997. At that time tourism operators made weekly reports to GBRMPA about the state of the coral reefs they were visiting. 

The program enabled scientists to collect and analyse a much greater volume of data than ever before.
img_0334_small.jpgThese days everyone can participate and become a citizen scientist, collecting data about the things you see in Great Barrier Reef waters.

Using a smart phone and the Eye on the Reef app, you can take a photo or video of something you find interesting and report its location and the time you took the photo.

The app also allows you to report incidents such as strandings, crown of thorns starfish, pollution or coral bleaching.

All the uploaded reports are verified by staff at GBRMPA and used to better understand the distribution of marine animals.

Last week we reported that a team of scientists would be in Mackay to try to find Snubfin and Australian Humpback dolphins.

Lead researcher, Dr. Daniele Cagnazzi told us that the main thing that fishers and other people who frequent the oceans around Mackay can do to assist with this research is to report sightings of these uniquely Australian marine mammals.

So if you see something a little unusual or you just want to show the world the beauty of our humpback whales, take a photo and report it.


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