[Coral-List] “What do Australia’s coral reefs mean to you?” Photography competition

Jos Hill 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  
gathering seafood.

  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

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.   

Our Vision:

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.

Our Mission:

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  
community groups.

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

Our Mission

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

Jos Hill
Managing Director
Reef Check Australia
PO Box 404
QLD 4810

Email: jos at reefcheck.org
General enquiries: support at reefcheckaustralia.org
Tel: +61 (0)7 4724 3950
Mob: +61 (0) 415 446 646


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