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Seaweek 2010: Oceans of Life - ours to explore; ours to restore


• There are many scientific studies being carried out which aim to increase our knowledge about how coral reefs function, their status and trends (health), medical properties as well as trying to understand the cause and solutions to potential impacts.

• Coral reefs have the potential to be the source of many new medicines. Many coral reef species produce chemicals that are being researched for their use to treat cancer, arthritis, human bacterial infections, heart disease, viruses and other diseases.

• Information on the status and trends of coral reefs through coral reef monitoring is vital for managers as it brings an understanding of the state of the reef and how it responds to various human uses as well as to the effects of climate change.

• Coral Reef monitoring assists in its effective management through the following tasks; Resource Assessment and Mapping, Resource Status and Long-Term Trends, Status and Long-Term Trends of User Groups, Impacts of Large-Scale Disturbances, Impacts of Human Activities, Performance Evaluation and Adaptive Management, Education and Awareness Raising, Building Resilience into Marine Protected Areas, and Contributing to Regional and Global Networks.

• Reef Check Australia is one of the organisations that collects data regarding the health of Australian Coral Reefs.

• Pharmaceutical products can be developed from natural substances extracted from reef organisms. A prime example is sponges.

• Students and researchers from all around Australia and the world use the Great Barrier Reef for educational and research purposes.

Further Links:

• The Australian Institute of Marine Science (Research):

• The Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority (Research and Science):

• James Cook University (School of marine biology and aquaculture):

• CRC reef (Research programs):

• The Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority (Research Publications):

• Reef and Rainforest Research Centre (Home):




A research scientist takes
note of coral growth
from GBRMPA Image Collection

Transect tape used in monitoring program,
on reef flat at low tide
from GBRMPA Image Collection

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