Call for snorkellers, divers to join citizen science project

YOU can do it reef walking, snorkelling or scuba diving.

It is a great way to spend your holidays, and you can help save the world's coral reefs in the process.

The University of Queensland's CoralWatch citizen science project contributes to important research projects designed to help manage and save coral reefs from the impacts of humans and climate change.

"My 85-year-old mother and my kids have done it," UQ's Dr Chris Roelfsema said.

"If we do it once it gives us some information, but if we repeat it regularly it will show us how the corals are behaving and if they're under stress."

Volunteers are given coral health charts that they use to measure and record coral colours when they visit reefs.

They upload their data via the CoralWatch website or a smartphone app.

The data is accessible online and shared with management agencies and researchers globally to help them better understand the reef.

"Reefs are important," Dr Roelfsema said.

"They cover less than 0.1% of the surface of the earth, but supply 25% of the world's fish and contribute $375 billion a year to the global economy."


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