Every November and December, hundreds of divers and snorkelers plunge into the water to take part in the biggest citizen-science event on Victoria’s marine calendar, the Great Victorian Fish Count.
Armed with a dive slate, they record the numbers of a selection of important fish species and report any others not usually found in the area as part of this long-term monitoring of fish across the Victorian coast.
The Count has been running since 2002, led by the Victorian National Parks Association in partnership with Museum Victoria, Parks Victoria, Coastcare Victoria, Redmap, local dive operators and local community groups.
The data collected is uploaded to the Atlas of Living Australia (an online store for biodiversity data, currently with over 67 million records) to improve our knowledge of Victoria’s marine species.
According to Phillip Wierzbowski, from Coastcare Victoria, the Great Victorian Fish Count is “an experience that not only contributes to citizen science while admiring the diversity of Victoria’s marine life, it is great fun too”.
The 2020 Great Victorian Fish Count was held from 14 November until 13 December. The report for 2020 is now available here.
2021 Great Victorian Fish Count News
In accordance with the State Government’s roadmap announcement, we have decided to proceed with planning the 2021 Great Victorian Fish Count for the 13 November – 12 December. Please note that if restrictions on outdoor activities change in response to the evolving situation in Victoria we may have to cancel or amend any activities- we’ll post updates for you here and on the ReefWatch facebook page.
All registered groups taking part in the Great Victorian Fish Count need to follow the COVIDSafe restrictions as they apply to their region. Please take care and stay safe while enjoying our wonderful wild spaces.
Once we have expected survey dates from registered groups we will add them to this page, so you can get in touch with your local host and see if there is space to join in on the fun.
The Great Victorian Fish Count is supported by the Victorian Government.