[Coral-List] “What do Australia’s coral reefs mean to you?” Photography competition
jos at reefcheck.org
Thu Aug 16 04:03:51 EDT 2007
Coral Reef Photography Competition:
What do Australia’s coral reefs mean to you?
In celebration of Australian Biodiversity Month in September, Reef
Check Australia and Project AWARE Asia Pacific are pleased to
announce the inaugural “What do Australia’s coral reefs mean to you?”
photography competition. The goal of the competition is to showcase
the Australian public’s ‘vision’ of the value of our coral reefs and
the threats that they currently face. These “values” include social
activities and recreational pastimes such as diving, snorkeling,
sailing and fishing, traditional cultural activities for many
indigenous Australians and commercial ventures such as tourism and
The Australian coastline is home to some of the most pristine coral
reef environments that can still be found on the planet. Australia’s
coral reefs have global ecological, social and economic value. The
Great Barrier Reef (GBR) World Heritage Area is the world’s largest
coral reef ecosystem that extends for more than 2000 kilometers along
Queensland’s coastline. The GBR is home to 100’s of coral species,
1000’s of fish species, 6 out of 7 species of marine turtle and is a
migration route for several whale species. Likewise the Ningaloo Reef
in Western Australia is an amazingly diverse environment for corals
and marine animals including manta rays and the world’s largest fish
species the iconic Whaleshark.
“Data collected over the past ten years by Reef Check shows that
threats such as over fishing, poor water quality and coral bleaching
caused by climate change have contributed to the loss of about 5% of
coral reefs per year worldwide over the past decade. Whilst
Australia’s coral reefs are amongst the best managed in the world
they are not immune to these threats” said Roger Beeden, Reef Check
Australia’s Marketing and Communications Manager.
“One of the major problems facing coral reefs is the lack of public
awareness about their incredible ecological, economic and social
value. With sea temperatures expected to rise the impact on
Australia’s reefs could be devastating. Reef Check and Project AWARE
hope the Coral Reef Photography Competition will inspire all
Australians to protect and respect this fragile ecosystem. ” said
Joanne Marston, Project AWARE’s Asia Pacific Manager.
Coral reefs, a priceless global resource
1. Tourism the world’s largest industry depends heavily on
coral reefs. In Australia GBR tourism is worth an estimated $5.1
billion to our economy and employs >60,000 people.
2. Coral reefs are also a major food source for more than 500
million people worldwide.
3. Reef protect tropical coasts from storm damage and tsunami waves
4. They may even save your life or that of a loved one through
the development of pharmaceuticals based on unique compounds found in
coral reef organisms.
The biodiversity of Australia’s coral reefs is reflected in the
diversity of ways in which we utilize and enjoy these iconic
resources. By showcasing the multitude of different ways that ‘we’
value our reefs, Project AWARE and Reef Check are aiming to raise
public and political awareness of the importance of responding to
climate change and other global threats to coral reefs.
Pictures speak a thousand words: The photography competition is the
first of a series of Reef Check /
Project AWARE education initiatives. The competition includes a
number of submission categories that give participants and voters the
opportunity to show the world how they ‘value’ our coral reefs both
now and into the future. Winners will be rewarded with a range of
prizes that include underwater cameras, resort accommodation,
diving / snorkeling / sailing trips to the GBR and coral conservation
The Reef Check Photography Competition can be viewed, votes can be
cast and entries can be submitted by visiting
www.reefcheckaustralia.org. All entrants are encouraged to view
Project AWARE’s Ten Tips for Underwater Photography at
www.projectaware.org and minimize their impact, show respect for and
protect fragile environments and marine creatures.
For further press information please contact Roger Beeden at Reef
Check Australia via email, media at reefcheckaustralia.org, or
telephone, (07) 4724 3950.
For further information on Project AWARE please contact Joanne
Marston via info at projectaware.org.au or telephone (02) 9454 2890
Reef Check is a volunteer, non-profit organisation set up by coral
researchers following a meeting in 1993 where the global coral reef
crisis was first discussed. Reef Check has been collecting data
since the first International Year of the Reef in 1997 and is now
active in over 82 countries and territories world wide.
Reef Check Australia is based in Townsville and coordinates Reef
Check activities within Australia including the flagship Great
Barrier Reef project and local Townsville project.
To raise awareness of the value of coral reefs, and empower local
communities to participate in the conservation and management of
coral reefs in Australia and the Indo-Pacific region.
To ensure a sustainable future for the Australian and Indo-Pacific
region’s coral reef ecosystems by
1) Promoting sustainable use of coral reefs through partnerships
with governments, researchers, businesses, traditional owners and
2) Raising public awareness of the economic, ecological and
social value of coral reefs.
3) Identifying simple actions that the general public can take to
minimize global threats to coral reefs.
4) Developing tools and skills with local community members and
volunteers to participate in coral reef health monitoring,
conservation and management.
5) Establishing a coral reef health database for Australia and
the Indo-Pacific that is integrated into the global Reef Check network.
Project AWARE Foundation
Project AWARE Foundation conserves underwater environments through
education, advocacy and action.
Who We Are
Project AWARE Foundation is the dive industry’s leading nonprofit
environmental organization. Offices in Australia, the United States,
the United Kingdom, Switzerland and Japan combine efforts to protect
aquatic resources in 175 countries around the world.
What We Do
Project AWARE Foundation works in partnership with divers and water
enthusiasts to combat challenges facing underwater environments. We
involve these volunteers in hands-on environmental activities like
International Cleanup Day, CoralWatch and The International Whale
Shark Project. Project AWARE also inspires conservation by
incorporating its messages in dive training materials as well as
creating awareness and education campaigns like Protect the Sharks,
Protect the Living Reef and AWARE Kids. The Foundation Grant Program
funds grass-roots environmental projects that address key foundation
focus areas, volunteer-supported community activism and critical
research with direct contributions made by people like you. For more
information visit www.projectaware.org
Reef Check Australia
PO Box 404
Email: jos at reefcheck.org
General enquiries: support at reefcheckaustralia.org
Tel: +61 (0)7 4724 3950
Mob: +61 (0) 415 446 646
The Reef Needs You
More information about the Coral-List