Search for Biodiversity
In November 2019 we went into our "Search for Biodiversity" expedition with an ambitious plan to examine reef health, biodiversity and storm damage along a 400km stretch of the northern Great Barrier Reef. Our team certainly rose to the occasion, achieving an impressive number of surveys, citizen science programs and media projects. Here is a summary of all that was accomplished during our two-week expedition:
- 70 sites assess for coral cover, fish abundance and diversity, impacts, and overall aesthetic beauty
- 20 manta tows, covering over 10km of reef
- 20 360 degree video scenes to be used as new content in upcoming virtual reality experiences
- 17 Reef Health and Impact Surveys (RHIS)
- 17 significant or ecologically important species sightings, including 4 whale sharks, 3 pods of dolphins, 2 bryde's whales, 15 grey reef sharks, 1 tiger shark and 1 sailfish!
- 7 microplastic tows, collected in collaboration with International Seakeepers Society.
- 6 mangrove islands surveyed for mangrove health, conducted in partnership with Mangrove Watch
- 5 Eye on the Reef Rapid surveys, a quantitative census of ecologically important fish species
- 5 reef biodiversity surveys to determine the diversity of hard coral species within those sites, conducted by coral expert Dr. Charlie Veron
- 4 underwater visual censuses of mobile predators, including observations of at least 6 species of sharks
- 3 beach-clean ups, contributing to Tangaroa Blue's Reef Clean initiative.
- 1 amazing expedition covering 1,200km!