:: Sea Urchin Monitoring Project
Tasmanian recreational diving clubs, assisted by the Tasmanian Government’s Fishwise Fund, have agreed to undertake an ambitious program of scientific surveys on Tasmania’s East Coast rocky reef.
Many divers have seen disturbing changes in the oceans over the last few decades including the loss of Giant Kelp beds, declines in some fish species, more invasive marine pests and the effects of climate change warming the East Coast of Tasmania. These threats indicate a wider problem with the health of our oceans and show that Tasmania’s unique underwater wilderness is going through a period of major change.
A major catalyst for the project has been the appearance of devastating urchin barrens off the East Coast of Tasmania. Monitoring the spread of these barrens has been selected as the priority task for the first stage of this project.
Local recreational dive clubs have been advised that reef monitoring can be an important way to assist scientists in gaining a better understanding of our changing marine environment.