ReefWatch is our marine citizen-science program. It trains people like you to collect important information about fish, invertebrates and algae at dive locations across Victoria.

Through the hard work of ReefWatchers, we have:

  • Rediscovered and confirmed sightings of the western blue groper in Victoria’s coastal waters, sightings that were instrumental in gaining its protection in Victoria.
  • Discovered and photographed fish species never before seen or rarely seen in Victoria, including the spotted grubfish, silver dory, short-nosed boarfish and spiny anglerfish.

You can become a ReefWatcher by volunteering for any of our four great projects: Great Victorian Fish Count, Adopt a Sponge, PlateWatch and ReefCam. Do you want to learn more about these projects or how to become a ReefWatcher? If you do, then dive in below.

Adopt a sponge programWhat do divers do when a wall of sponges is destined for landfill? Simple, they band together to relocate them. And local dive group, Dive 2U, devised an ingenious way to make it happen.

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Ornate cowfish

Since 2002, hundreds of divers and snorkelers have dropped below the waves in November and December to take part in the biggest citizen-science event on Victoria’s marine calendar, the Great Victorian Fish Count.

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Launching a settlement plate for the PlateWatch programMussels and Oysters once formed vast shellfish reefs in Port Phillip Bay, but since European settlement are all but lost. As part of a reef restoration project, ReefWatch is monitoring shellfish recruitment within Port Phillip Bay.

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Go for a dive without getting wet! Popes Eye, near the heads of Port Phillip Bay is home to Australia’s first ever rocky-reef live-feed underwater webcam. You can now enjoy one of Victoria’s premier dive sites from anywhere in the world and not get wet.

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There are plenty of activities for you to choose from in ReefWatch.

You could be involved in searching for oysters and mussels, identifying and measuring sponges, setting up settlement plates or going for a virtual dive and identifying what you see.

By becoming a ReefWatcher, you’ll meet a wide range of people interested in nature and science, learn and share knowledge and skills, gain experience in marine conservation and spend time getting wet.

Whether you are a beginner or an experienced ecologist, VNPA would love to have you sharing what you discover with us in ReefWatch.

Would you like to help out?

Please contact us on 03 9341 6500 or email us at [email protected] if you would like more information about being a ReefWatch volunteer.