Rocky Cape Reef Life Survey 2018

Reef Life Survey Foundation (RLS) has conducted survey dives at Rocky Cape in March 2018. If you are a qualified diver and would like to get involved in future surveys,  please contact Dr Rick Stuart-Smith for more information. 

CONTACT: Dr Rick Stuart-Smith: 0418 112 825.

Our beautiful and diverse reef at Rocky Cape has been surveyed by a team of divers under a Cradle Coast Natural Resource Management (NRM) grant for Citizen Science.

The dives surveyed the type and number of underwater species including fish, corals, seaweed, invertebrates and shellfish.This project was initiated as an outcome of previous surveys of North-West rocky reefs. The Rocky Cape area was recommended for annual monitoring to interpret longer-term trends and to help understand changes in shallow reef communities

Training on species identification was be provided as part of the sessions. A commitment to diving and collation of data recorded after the dives was required.

The dive has been funded through a Natural Connections Community Group Grant awarded last year to the Reef Life Survey Foundation. This project is supported by Cradle Coast NRM through funding from the Australian Government’s National Landcare Program. 

The Reef Life Survey Foundation has been coordinating community-based research projects Australia-wide for many years and works closely with educational bodies such as University of Tasmania (UTAS).

The foundation’s founder and UTAS researcher Rick Stuart-Smith is leading the survey with volunteers from the North-West and from Hobart.

Mr Stuart-Smith said Rocky Cape was a significant site with a substantial kelp habitat which attracted a very diverse range of species that are normally not found in other waters in the North-West. 

The aims of this project are to support community citizen science, build on current knowledge of the reef, raise awareness of the important function of rocky reef ecosystems, and to maintain nearshore marine biodiversity. This is the second dive survey conducted within this project. Repeated surveys allow for comparison. 

Cradle Coast NRM will release the findings of the survey after the dives are complete and data has been analysed. 

For more information about Reef Life Survey, their website is at:

Photo Credit: Ernst Kemmerer 

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