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Reef Check Australia


Our projects stimulate local action to protect remaining pristine reefs and rehabilitate damaged reefs worldwide. Our survey data is available to the general public as well as scientists and managers to use for coral reef management.

Top tips for helping to conserve our coral reefs!

From home:

  1. Support Reef Check Australia. You can make a tax-deductible donation online at www.reefcheckaustralia.org or hold a fundraising event for Reef Check Australia following our Fundraising Guidelines.
  2. Spread the word.  Remember your own excitement at learning how important the planet’s coral reefs are to us and the intricate global ecosystem.  Sharing this excitement gets everyone you speak with involved.
  3. Be An Informed Consumer. When eating seafood, make choices for healthy oceans. Your consumer choices make a difference. Use this guide to make informed choices when ordering seafood. Consider carefully the coral objects that you buy for your coffee table.  Ask the store owner or manager from what country the coral is taken and whether or not that country has a management plan to insure that the harvest was legal and sustainable over time (http://www.mbayaq.org/cr/seafoodwatch.asp and http://www.amcs.org.au/default2.asp?active_page_id=137).
  4. Walk or cycle to work and remember to turn off electrical appliances when you are not using them. Overuse of fossil fuels is fueling Climate Change, which causes coral bleaching, ocean acidification and sea level rise.
  5. Don’t pollute. Never put garbage or human waste in the water. Don’t leave trash on the pavement or beach.
  6. Recycle. This is the first step each of us can take to make a change. Recycle anything and everything. If your community doesn’t have a program, do it anyway, and get one started.
  7. Conserve Water. The less water you use the less runoff and waste-water that eventually finds its way back into our oceans.
  8. Report dumping or other illegal activities. Environmental enforcement cannot be everywhere, and your involvement can make a big difference.
  9. Only buy marine aquarium fish if you know they have been collected in an ecologically sound manner. In some areas, marine fish harvested for the pet trade are stunned with sodium cyanide so that capturing them is easier. That method harms the coral. Don’t start a live rock aquarium. Although this living rock is still harvested legally in some places, its collection is devastating to the reef organisms’ habitat.
  10. Don’t use chemically enhanced pesticides and fertilisers. Although you may live thousands of miles from a coral reef ecosystem, these products end up in the watershed and may ultimately impact the waters that support coral.

 On the Reef

  1. Follow Project AWARE top 10 tips for underwater photographers (PDF).
  2. Volunteer for a reef cleanup.
  3. You don’t live near a coral reef? Then do what many people do on their vacation: visit a coral reef. Spend an afternoon enjoying the beauty of one of the world’s treasures while helping to preserve it for future generations.
  4. When you visit a coral reef, help keep it healthy by respecting all local guidelines, recommendations, regulations, and customs. Always wear waterproof sun block. This keeps it from coming off in the water and causing pollution. When Snorkeling, avoid stepping on the reefs which could break or kill it. Never take a piece of the reef, not even a small bit. Don’t feed the fish.  When the fish find their own food on the reef, it keeps it healthy.
  5. Support reef-friendly or EcoCertified businesses. Ask what your dive shop, boating store, tour operators, hotel and other coastal businesses are doing to save the coral reefs. Let them know how you are an informed consumer and care about reefs. See www.ecotourism.org.au.

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