Citizen science helps identify fish
Be it snorkelling or viewing in the glass bottom boat, marine life at the Goat Island Marine Reserve is a joy.
But what is that bright yellow blob wobbling in the current or that cheeky fish eye-balling you through your mask?
With more people taking underwater images, figuring out what fish or sea squirt you’re looking at Goat Island Marine Reserve or Tawharanui Marine Reserve is easier.
By uploading your images to NatureWatchNZ, you get to share, and others, with more expertise can help.
You may be contributing to citizen science projects or consider starting one of your own.
The reference image library sees keen observers, photographers, citizen and research scientists, involved.
By building up a picture of the plants and animals in any given spot around the country, the public and scientists can see what’s usually there, and any changes over time.
Without fishing pressue, marine reserves are a good indicator of changes to the ecology of an area including from climate change.
Rising water temperatures are already seeing more warmer water species turning up around the coast and some fish species like snapper spreading further south.
Figuring out what you’re looking at when snorkelling at marine reserves will be easier with NatureWatchNZ.