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Reef Teach Research

The Great Barrier Reef (GBR) is the world’s largest coral reef. It is probably one of, if not the most iconic natural wonder of the world, and yet there is so much more we need to learn.

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Observation, Conservation And Education

In late 2016 Reef Teach owners increased their commitment to dedicate more resources to research. Reef Teach now has weekly to fortnightly research trips. This commitment achieves an increase in the amount of data collected about coral cover and critical indicators for coral reef health.

Reef Teach’s core belief is for collaboration, there is no need to re-invent the wheel or dilute the effort. As a result Reef Teach’s core research project is a collaboration between Reef Teach as the lead organisation and the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority (GBRMPA) and the Australian Institute or Marine Science (AIMS).

This project is designed to enhance the compliment AIMS’ “Long-term Monitoring Program” and enhance GBRMPA’s “Eye On The Reef Program - Tourism Weekly” project, by integrating fix photo-points and the use of artificial intelligence (AI) to give more precise data on how coral cover changes with time.

Program Activities

Eye On The Reef - Sightings Network

Eye On The Reef Photo-Point Enhancement Project

This project is the enhancement of the Eye on the Reef Tourism Weekly Monitoring survey with the addition of a fixed, geo-referenced photo track. It also helps AIMS fill in the gaps at their long-term monitoring sites (the longest continued data set for any coral reef on Earth). The photographs are analysed by AIMS specifically designed artificial intelligence software to accurately calculate how coral cover changes over time. These trends can be followed and linked to certain environmental conditions. This helps us develop a much clearer and stronger understanding of the Great Barrier Reef for management and conservation.

Eye On The Reef - Sightings Network

Sightings Network

This network allows the recording and mapping of the amazing wildlife observed and encountered on the Great Barrier Reef.
Eye On The Reef - Rapid Monitoring Surveys

Rapid Monitoring Surveys

The Rapid Monitoring Survey is used to monitor the same site regularly and get an idea of changes to that site over time. It can also be used to get a basic snapshot of reef health at less frequently visited sites.
Eye On The Reef - Reef Health Impact Survey

Reef Health Impact Survey

RHIS is used to monitor sites and provide information on the status of the Great Barrier Reef. This survey methodology is strongest when done before and after major events such as cyclones and bleaching events. It can show how the status changes as a result of impacts over time.


We can’t do all this work alone we need your help. If you would like to help us perform this work sign up for our Marine Discoveries Internship. You will not only help in the data collection, but in our education and community engagement activities.

Acknowledgement Of Country
Reef Teach acknowledges, recognises and respects the Elders, families and forebears of the the Bama Peoples – the Aboriginal rainforest people who are traditional custodians/owners of the lands that cover our region. We also acknowledge, recognise and respect other Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people who call our region and the Great Barrier Reef their home.