Existing protection and management
Keeping an Eye on the Reef
Overall understanding of the Reef ecosystem, knowledge available for management and engagement with a variety of Reef stakeholders have all been improved through development of an integrated Eye on the Reef program. Managed by the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority in collaboration with the Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service, the program is a network of monitoring programs that engages and benefits Australian and Queensland government managing agencies, researchers, fishers, tourism operators and community groups. The program includes structured Reef Health and Impact Surveys, the Tourism Weekly Monitoring program, the Rapid Monitoring survey program and the Sightings Network. In combination, these programs provide everything from information on sightings and unusual events to an early warning system and on-the-spot impact assessments used to promptly inform responses to incidents such as coral bleaching and cyclones. Within a fortnight of severe tropical cyclone Yasi in 2011, 882 Reef Health and Impact Surveys had been completed, providing a comprehensive assessment of reef damage at over 76 reefs.16 The monitoring surveys undertaken through the Eye on the Reef program provide detailed information about a number of sites spread across the Region (Figure 7.4).
Figure 7.4 Eye on the Reef reporting locations and key contributors 2008–2013
A range of different people and groups contribute data to the Eye on the Reef program. The map shows Eye on the Reef contributions are widely spread across the Region. Source: Great
Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority 2013 25
Contributions to the Eye on the Reef program are improving knowledge available for management