Ci­ti­zen sci­ence helps iden­tify fish

Rodney Times - - YOUR LOCAL NEWS - DELWYN DICKEY

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.

JOHN EL­LIOTT

Fig­ur­ing out what you’re look­ing at when snorkelling at marine re­serves will be easier with Na­tureWatchNZ.

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