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Snorkelling Coral Reef, Efate Activities, Vanuatu

Articles

Citizen Science on the Rise in the Fight to Save our Oceans

Citizens’ role in the fight to save our oceans is on the up. More and more people are taking it upon themselves to contribute to science in an attempt to restore health to our oceans, the world’s most crucial ecosystem. With thanks to the Pelorus Foundation, we can incorporate citizen science research programs into your trips.

The anthropogenic stressors the ocean has faced, from overfishing to marine pollution, have slowly eaten away at the health of our oceans, and we have seen increasingly serious impacts over the last five decades, aggravated by climate change and sea-level rise.

Overfishing is rapidly destabilising the ecosystem, and not only are rising temperatures sending our polar regions into disarray, they are changing the distribution of organisms. Ice-capped seas are retreating and ocean inhabitants diminishing by the minute, to the point that coral reef ecosystems are may be extinct by the end of the century. We must change our ways.

Family Snorkelling, andBeyond Mnemba Island, Maldives
Antarctica Expedition Group Research, an Example of Citizen Science

‘Citizen science’ has become somewhat of a buzzword, however the concept has been simmering for a while. Only now has the combination of well-devised monitoring programs and dedicated volunteers become a crucial contributor to protecting and nurturing the ocean out of ill-health.

The term ‘citizen science’ is essentially defined as the public involvement in the discovery of scientific knowledge, as it forms a relationship between science and leisure, popularising the technical aspects of marine science and conservation, allowing the public to familiarise themselves with the importance of it and themselves contributing.

The unique combination of our Pelorus Foundation charitable work with global initiatives, and Pelorus’ expertise and relationships with yachts capable of accessing the remote corners of our world, means you can seamlessly enrich your travels by incorporating the collection of vital data with citizen science projects into an adventure further afield.

CoralWatch, Great Barrier Reef

Developed across the Great Barrier Reef, the world’s largest coral reef complex, is the CoralWatch program. This is an example of one of the many established citizen science projects, with the aim of monitoring the coral’s health and inspiring others to get involved. Their Coral Health Chart provides a simple way for people worldwide to quantify coral health and contribute to the CoralWatch global database. Their key focus lies in monitoring, education and outreach, and so far they have helped to promote behavioural change globally.

This easy to use kit can be used on any reef across our oceans and data uploaded to their global database, meaning you can actively help safe the reef whilst either; exploring the reefs and ruins of Belize and Mexico, protecting manta ray species in Raja Ampat or in-between swimming with minke whales on Australia’s Ribbon Reefs, to name a few.

 

Citizen science projects are becoming that all important bridge between science and society. A concept easy to grasp and utilised by local communities allows them to make a valued contribution to data collection, as well as the conservation process. This empowers them with responsibility and generates a much-needed awareness of basic research and its positive impact on the preservation of marine ecosystems and therefore, society.

Modern technologies are making citizen science more accessible than ever, and the ocean’s health is largely reliant on the success of these projects. Your desire to incorporate work on similar initiatives into your adventures around the globe can make a great impact.