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Reefs mean life
Coral reefs are one of the most diverse ecosystems on the planet with thousands of species relying on reefs for survival. Although coral reefs cover less than one percent of the ocean floor, they support an estimated 25 percent of all marine life.
Coral reefs are under increasing pressure from both man-made and natural forces, and are rapidly declining throughout the world. In order to improve the health of coral reefs, more data needs to be collected to fully understand the impacts that the reef is facing and how the reef is responding to these threats.
Although Australia's reefs are among the best managed in the world, they are not immune to these threats. Reef Check Australia is regularly monitoring and reporting on reef health, and increasing awareness about these threats to inspire action to combat the threats to the reef.
Many benefits of coral reefs
Coral reefs are incredibly diverse ecosystems that provide habitat for thousands of marine species. Additionally, coral reefs provide many important benefits to humans. Coral reefs provide fish and shellfish as food for local communities as well as a livelihood for the commercial fishing industry. Tourism heavily relies on the health and beauty of the reef for diving, fishing, and boating activities, which provides significant income for local economies. The strong coral structure of the reef provides shelter to coastlines and coastal communities from severe storm events and tidal waves. Research also indicates that coral reef animals like sponges are an important source of medical cures for a number of diseases including, potentially, cancer.
Marine debris continues to be a significant threat facing marine animals, reefs, and ocean ecosystems... but YOU can help.
From the smallest bits of plastic, to enormous fishing nets, "the stuff" from our daily lives makes its way to the ocean every day. Over 6 million tonnes of rubbish is dumped into the world's oceans each year, endangering wildlife, and destroying habitats. Discarded debris in the ocean is responsible for the death of over a million animals each year, and is found in even the most remote ocean places. Once underwater, debris can remain there for generations, causing problems year after year after year. It is important that we understand what marine debris is, and how we can become part of the solution to rid our waterways of this marine threat.
There is a lot of information available online on the topic of marine debris. We have scoured the internet for the best, up to date information and cool, colourful materials, games and activities, so that you can find out all you need to know about marine debris, and how you can help to protect our reefs and oceans.
Check out the tabs below to start searching some fantastic resources!
"We must ensure our children are equipped to tackle the issue of sustainability."
We have now launched our Reef IQ Educational Program to provide a range of interactive learning experiences for school students and young people in order to increase their knowledge and appreciation of the value of coral reefs to humans. The program also aims to increase their participation in the conservation of these precious natural resources.
Our Reef IQ Educational Program includes courses and workshops that are completely classroom based allowing students to undertake simulated coral reef surveys in an indoor environment. In the future we will also roll out practical activites that support the educational program and that can be carried out in an aquarium as well as in the water on snorkel or scuba for over 12 year olds.
Marine biologist for your classroom
Are you interested in tailored educational activities in the classroom or field? We have economic options to help bring a marine biologist to you! Contact us to find out more!
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