Monday, March 11, 2019

Oyster Watch, VNPA and ReefWatch VIC

We've seen many citizen science programs crop up since the early 2000's. And more power to them! One we haven't seen before is Oyster Watch and in some ways you'd think this could have been an early one considering how much people love oysters. Then again maybe that's why not.

Oysters picked clean

Oyster Watch
was initiated as a result of the well recorded history of Melbourne and Port Phillip Bay's early ocean bounty. There is no doubt that European settlement brought disastrous changes for the oyster communities.
With the advent of Victoria's new marine parks a wonderful thing happened. Friends groups, local volunteers, appeared on the scene with the aim of supporting the new marine parks and keeping an eye on the health and well being of these special places. Scientists soon recognised the value of training volunteers to learn and record what they could about the marine environment to assist them in data collection. The volunteers generally find a proprietary interest building inside them to protect these special places as they learn.

Many citizen science programs span the Australian inshore and offshore coastline, ReefWatchReef CheckRedMapSeagrassWatchMangroveWatchMarine Research Group and Divers Against Debris to name a few.

Image from Victorian National Parks Association article Resurrecting reefs

For many years now Victoria has been trying to turn that around. Just before the no-take marine parks and sanctuaries were declared the inter-tidal zone was designated as a protected area for oysters and other invertebrate animals with the exception of marine worms. At the seashore compliance to the law is very challenging.

Oyster Watch is a great new addition to our growing community awareness, data resource collection and positive action for the health of our coasts. Let's hope other places around Australia consider taking this idea on-board also.

See more about Oyster Watch at

The Last Time the Globe Warmed by PBS Eons / Curiosity Stream

This video is very interesting in that it shows what happened last time there was a massive warming event on the earth and it gives something to compare against.

Six minutes into the video it features information specifically on the ocean.