'Citizen scientists' unite to protect the reef in the face of threats

EYES GLUED: An Eye on the Reef forum will be held Thursday.
EYES GLUED: An Eye on the Reef forum will be held Thursday. Contributed

WHITSUNDAY guardians of the Great Barrier Reef will come together today, as the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority hosts an Eye on the Reef workshop at the crew training room, Abell Point Marina, from 5.30pm.

The Eye on the Reef program is all about promoting "citizen science” whereby local operators practise their role as the eyes and ears of the reef by undergoing daily monitoring of factors such as marine animals, coral health and incidents.

Participants then submit their findings for the authority to consider.

GBRMPA spokesperson Nathan Cook said with coral bleaching returning in the northern part of the reef between Townsville and Cairns it was important to offer a refreshment on what to look out for.

"We require information across the industry like tourism operators and anyone with up to date information from a lot of remote locations so we can extend our reach to cover reef-wide extending from Cape York to Capricorn,” he said.

"The evening presentation will focus on the current health of the reef and the things to look out for considering it's summer and if we are experiencing a bleaching event this is when it happens.”

There will be demonstrations given of the online training system and Eye on the Reef database and reporting system including data entry and operations Nature Diary graphs.

The Eye on the Reef workshops were also held in Port Douglas on Monday and Cairns on Tuesday.

Mr Cook said while different parts of the reef faced different issues, there was a lot of common ground covered across the workshops.

"Around 80 to 90% of the content would be very similar because we want to encourage people to be involved in Eye on the Reef and to monitor the organisms that live there,” he said.

"Crown of Thorns starfish is more of an issue north of Townsville rather than what you get in the Whitsundays, but generally everything will be pretty consistent.”

While the event is tailored to attract tourism operators and staff, anyone passionate about taking a stand on the health of the reef is welcome to attend.

"These workshops are targeted to tourism staff but open to everybody.

"We write to and invite tourism industry members but we are open to public.

"If anyone has got any friends or colleagues please bring them along,” Mr Cook said.

Whether new crew seek to learn skills or experienced hands require a refresher course, everyone is welcome to benefit from the event.

Pizza will be offered on the night.

For any enquiries call 47500863.

Topics:  abell point marina eye on the reef gbrmpa whitsunday

Stay Connected

Update your news preferences and get the latest news delivered to your inbox.

Gateway to winning car or cash

Jennifer Davis showed off the Toyota Yaris up for grabs as part of the Reef Gateway's Cash or Car competition.

Cash or Car entrants have a chance to win a Toyota Yaris.

Progress on the Shute Harbour front

Shute Harbour suffered significant damage as a result of Cyclone Debbie.

Ferry services return to Shute Harbour this Wednesday.

Whitsunday tourism stands strong in spite of Debbie

Ocean Rafting was the winner of the 2017 Australian Tourism Awards.

Over 20 Whitsunday entrants have nominated for QLD Tourism Awards.

Local Partners

'Keep a safe distance from whales': DEHP

WHALE watchers that get the privilege of seeing Migaloo in the flesh are warned to keep their distance.

Why crowds are loving Happy Kanye at Splendour

Danger Dave and Melissah Marie with the artwork Happy Kanye at Splendour in the Festival 2017.

By Barcelona-based artistic collective Hungry Castle

Amber Heard, Elon Musk among Splendour celebs

Bernard Fanning plays the main stage at Splendour in the Grass 2017 on day 2.

DAY TWO of Splendour in the Grass was the day of celebrities.

Working class? Man, Gympie's got the show for you

Jimmy Barnes

Aussie rock icons coming to Gympie for 150th celebrations.

Families that game together, stay together?

FORGET the stereotype of the moody teenager playing his Xbox or PlayStation in a darkened room.

Michael Phelps just raced a shark

Sharks have been snapped surrounding the carcass of a whale off the coast of Fraser Island.

Swimming legend loses by a fin in man versus beast battle

REVIEW: The Bodyguard musical is a great night out

Kip Gamblin and Paulini in a scene from the musical The Bodyguard.

PAULINI tackles Whitney Houston's powerhouse songs flawlessly.

What 'intimidated' Chris Hemsworth's Thor while filming?

Thor (Chris Hemsworth) has a new look in the third film.Source:Supplied

It looks like Chris Hemsworth met his match.

RECAP: Game of Thrones s7 episode 2 - Stormborn

Kit Harington in a scene from season seven episode two of Game of Thrones.

*WARNING this story contains spoilers*

‘Who thought this 9/11 movie was a good idea?’

Charlie Sheen is trapped in the Twin Towers on 9/11.

Has this Charlie Sheen movie already trashed on 9/11?

MASTERCHEF: It's Ben versus Diana in tonight's grand final

MasterChef Australia's 2017f finalists Ben Ungermann and Diana Chan will battle it out in Monday's grand final.

Who will take home the show's title and $250,000 grand prize?

'We’re goin' to Bonnie Doon!' and now you can too

How's the serenity?

The experience will have you exclaiming “how’s the serenity?”

New life for Bree and historic Oddfellows Hall

TWO CHANGES: Bree Dahl with her new baby Ivy in front of the historic Oddfellows Hall she purchased at auction and will renovate into a house.

Historic hall to be turned into home

Financial scandal destroys alternative community

Families who gave thousands to be a part of an alternative community at Mt Burrell, west of Murwillumbah, are now trying to recover their investment. Picture: Jamie Hanson

Dream Utopia turns into a nightmare

Mum buys $900,000 apartment for her 8-year-old son

Tania Katsanis beat another couple of homeowners to secure the winning bid.

The apartment was a 'bargain' as the property market bottoms out

Townhouses planned for Nicklin Way site

CBRE's Brendan Robins and Rem Rafter on site at Wurtulla.

Prime 1.5ha Sunshine Coast property set for town homes development

Ready to SELL your property?

Post Your Ad Here!