Peel Reef Vision – Monitoring Underway

Recfishwest’s world first marine citizen science program “Reef Vision” is a research project that uses recreational fishers to collect video footage of the fish and marine life on artificial reefs to assist in the monitoring and development of the reefs.

A variety of species including skippy, flathead and juvenile pink snapper captured on camera by Peel Reef Vision volunteers on the Mandurah Artificial Reef

Earlier this month, Recfishwest and project partners celebrated the launch of Peel Reef Vision in Mandurah with an information and training workshop held at the Mandurah Offshore Fishing and Sailing Club (MOFSC).  Keen local volunteers have already dropped cameras on the Mandurah Artificial Reef giving us a greater understanding on how this reef is developing and learning what fish species are using the reefs.

Footage already collected by Peel Reef Vision volunteers showing the growth on the Mandurah Artificial Reef modules and a curious octopus

Tackle World Miami are kindly providing bait and advice to volunteers, enabling them to collect this footage of the reefs using their new specialised baited underwater video cameras.

Recfishwest and Murdoch University are again partnering to deliver the Peel Reef Vision program providing an excellent level of academic rigour to the program.  Murdoch are also managing our 2019 Southwest Reef Vision program that monitors the Dunsborough and Bunbury artificial reefs.

Plenty of juvenile snapper captured on camera by Peel Reef Vision volunteers on the Mandurah Artificial Reef. By using a network of dedicated community volunteers to monitor our reefs as they develop we are able to obtain regular footage of a reef’s development and we often get some really amazing shots such as the images in this article

Peel Reef Vision volunteers have already recorded a range of species that use the reef including pink snapper, skippy, john dory, flathead, whiting and an octopus!

This new addition to the Reef Vision program compliments the existing community monitoring programs currently underway on artificial reefs deployed in Esperance, Exmouth, Dunsborough and Bunbury.

We would like to give a special thanks to the MOFSC for hosting the Reef Vision information eveningt. The club have been an invaluable part of the deployment of the Mandurah artificial reef, and now with monitoring the reef’s development.

Peel Reef Vision is funded by the Recreational Fishing Initiatives Fund and supported by the Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development and Recfishwest.

Interested in our world first Reef Vision program? Find out more by emailing steph@recfishwest.org.au

A juvenile dhufish coming in for a closer look at the baited camera

 

To see more underwater footage of various artificial reefs and some of the species calling them home, visit the Artificial Reefs WA Facebook page.

To read more about Artificial Reef Monitoring click here or Citizen Science Programs here.

See what’s biting on our other artificial reefs:

40 Species seen on Exmouth’s newest fishing playground

Rottnest Fish Towers Fire Up!

 

1000 Taggers and Counting

Local recreational fishers continue to contribute to research on key species through their tagging efforts. The Westag program was launched in 1998-99 and still oversees tagging efforts in WA waters.

This long-running citizen science program aims to improve the understanding of recreational fishing species, improve management of recreational fisheries and help ensure recreational fishing in WA remains healthy.

Since being launched over 1000 taggers have participated in Westag, including 42 in 2014-15.

There have been more than 36,000 fish tagged and over 1300 recaptures in that time.

Key species tagged have been Samson Fish, Barramundi, Mangrove Jack, Dhufish and Sailfish.

This year there has been a surge in Mulloway tagging, with a national initiative called the Mulloway Marathon encouraging recreational fishers to tag more of this species.

There have been more than 2000 Dhufish tagged, with a good recapture rate of almost 10 percent.

Fishers tag fish and record key information such as length, location and condition of the fish, which offers important data when the fish is recaptured.

There have been some fascinating recaptures stories, including two Dhufish tagged consecutively by the same charter operator being caught again on the same day and the 1000km travelled Samson Fish.

If you’d like to get involved with tagging, visit http://info-fish.net/westag/ for more information.