Indigenous owners survey Bay’s Reefs

Indigenous owners survey Bay’s Reefs

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23-May-2014

Moreton Bay’s unique coral reefs are being monitored as part of a new collaboration between researchers and traditional owners. 

Thanks to a partnership between Reef Check Australia and SEQ Catchments, members of the Quandamooka community have been trained in methods to monitor and report on the health of the reef using scientific methods and will join the long term effort to assess the condition of reefs in Moreton Bay.

Whilst Moreton Bay’s reefs are not as well-known as the Great Barrier Reef further north, the rocky reefs of Moreton Bay create a unique marine habitat which is home to both tropical and temperate marine species and a surprising array of coral with 61 different species recorded.

The reef monitoring activities are part of a larger program funded by the Queensland and Australian Government, which supports the involvement of Quandamooka to manage Moreton Bay Sea Country.

Reef Check Australia General Manager, Jennifer Loder said that this training would build on established SCUBA monitoring sites in Moreton Bay, providing vital long term data about the health of the reefs fringing Straddie.

“Our training helps participants learn the basics of reef ecology and reef monitoring skills… as well as enjoying the reef’s spectacular corals, cuttlefish and cowries,” she said.
“Quandamooka and SEQ Catchments plan to continue to working with Reef Check Australia to establish snorkel-based monitoring locations in Moreton Bay that contribute to further understanding about local rocky reefs.”

Quandamooka Yoolooburrabee Aboriginal Corporation’s Darren Burns sees Quandamooka’s involvement in reef monitoring as a big step for his people 

“It has provided an opportunity to demonstrate how Traditional Owners can and should be involved in science based monitoring and evaluation on their traditional country,” said Mr Burns.

The training was provided in partnership with the University of Queensland’s Biophysical Remote Sensing Group and supported through the Moreton Bay Research Station. 
-Ends-
For more information about Reef Check Australia, please contact Jennifer Loder on 0402 284 681
For SEQ Catchments Enquiries please call 07 3503 1425

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