The Catlin Seaview Survey was undertaken over 7 years from 2012 to 2018. The project aimed to examine reefs from around the world to generate the first standardised global baseline record of coral reefs. These records can then be used to track reefs into the future and comparing future changes back to this baseline.
Pictures were taken along transects at various locations and depth from the surface down to 125m using a motorised underwater camera (SVII). A total of 11 expeditions across 26 countries were undertaken generating more than 900’000 pictures. This makes this project the most comprehensive survey of the world’s reefs to ever be undertaken.
Once images have been collected they are able to be analysed for a variety of information. By training a computer program to recognise coral from algae from sand and other substrates, these images are able to provide us with a snap shot on how reefs look today and their coral coverage.
By combining these individual photo’s and in partnership with Google, these photo’s form an amazing 360° panorama of reefs around the world. Showcased at the National History Museum in 2015, these panorama are now available to all so why not take a virtual diving within Google Earth.
Perhaps the most valuable aspect of this project has been the creation of the XL Global Reef Record, an open-sourced scientific data set that is available to all, from researches to policy makers and the general public. This record combines the baseline data collected form around the world by the Catlin project, and combines it with other worldwide research provided by the World Resources Institute, SCRIPPS and NOAA. This record then provides a platform for communicating its contained knowledge as vast resource to all.
Given the challenges and costs involved in collecting large quantities of reef data, this Global Reef Record will provide the vital information needed by countries to manage their reefs systems, particularly for those countries that would normally be unable to collect and utilise this type of information.
To find out more about the XL Catlin Seaview Survey, please visit the main website here.
World Resources Institute
World Resources Institute, Scripps Institution of Oceanography (SCRIPPS)
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)
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- Brown K, Bender-Champ D, Bryant D, Dove S, Hoegh-Guldberg O (2017) Human activities influence benthic community structure and the composition of the coral-algal interactions in the central Maldives. Journal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology 497: 33-40 DIO:10.1016/j.jembe.2017.09.006
- Bryant D, Rodriguez-Ramirez A, González‐Rivero M, Phinn S, Brown K, Neal B, Hoegh-Guldberg O, Dove S (2017) Comparison of two photographic methodologies for collecting and analyzing the condition of coral reef ecosystems. Ecosphere 8(10): e01971 DIO:10.1002/ecs2.1971
- Englebert N, Bongaerts P, Muir P, Hay KB, Pichon M, Hoegh-Guldberg O (2017) Lower Mesophotic Coral Communities (60-125 m Depth) of the Northern Great Barrier Reef and Coral Sea. PLoS One 12(2): e0170336 DIO:10.1371/journal.pone.0170336
- Glasl B, Bongaerts P, Elisabeth N, Hoegh-Guldberg O, Herndl G, Frade P (2017) Microbiome variation in corals with distinct depth distribution ranges across a shallow-mesophotic gradient (15-85 m). Coral Reefs 36(2):447‐452 DIO:10.1007/s00338-016-1517-x
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- Griffin K, Hedge L, González-Rivero M, Hoegh-Guldberg O, Johnston E (2017) An evaluation of semi-automated methods for collecting ecosystem-level data in temperate marine systems. Ecol Evol 7(13):4640-4650 DIO:10.1002/ece3.3041
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- Beijbom O, Treibitz Tali, Kline DI, Eyal G, Khen A, Neal B, Loya Y, Mitchell G, Kregman D. (2016) Improving Automated Annotation of Benthic Survey Images Using Wide-band Fluorescence. Scientific Reports 6:23166 DIO:10.1038/srep23166
- Ferrari R, Mckinnon D, He H, Smith R, Corke P, Gonzalez-Riverro M, Mumby P, Upcroft B (2016) Quantifying multiscale habitat structural complexity: a cost-effective framework for underwater 3D modelling. Remote Sensing, 8 2: 113.1-113.21. doi:10.3390/rs8020113
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- Pantos O, Bongaerts P, Dennis P, Tyson G, Hoegh-Guldberg O (2015) Habitat-specific environmental conditions primarily control the microbiomes of the coral Seriatopora hystrix. The ISME Journal, 1-12. doi:10.1038/ismej.2015.3
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