Reports and Reviews
A Review of Underwater Volunteer Groups in NSW
The Hunter-Central Rivers Catchment Management Authority (HCRCMA), through recent
engagement with volunteer groups, has realised that they may have the capacity to conduct
research that complements the NSW marine habitat mapping program currently being
undertaken by the NSW Department of Environment and Climate Change (DECC). This report outlines the first stage in an attempt to facilitate the collection of sound and relevant data that will augment the more formal research program.
The aims of this project were to:
- Identify all NSW underwater volunteer groups currently undertaking, or with the capacity to undertake, marine research programs;
- Develop a database on marine volunteer groups, which details each group’s experience
levels and marine research activities to date;
- Catalogue the experience and capacity level of the volunteers;
- Identify training programs and trainers that have provided support for volunteer groups;
- Liaise with managing authorities to determine activities considered suitable for volunteer
groups that would help to address specific management questions;
- Provide support and training to two volunteer dive groups with different capacity and
experience and make recommendations regarding survey methods and survey design;
- Evaluate quality assurance and quality control measures used within the groups to
standardise data collection; and
- Make recommendations for ongoing engagement with volunteer groups that will promote
standardisation of data collection and their ability to provide robust and accurate data to
inform specific management issues.
Download the full report Review of Underwater Volunteer Groups in NSW
Scuba Diving and Marine Conservation: Collaboration at Two Australian Subtropical Destinations
The following paper was published by researchers from Southern Cross University in the journal Tourism in Marine Environments. It examines the motivations of UVG members from SURG and BURG to assist in marine conservation in subtropical/temperate marine environments and explores the implications of partnerships between community and government organisations when assessing conservation outcomes.
Documenting the Density of Subtidal Marine Debris across Multiple Marine and Coastal Habitats
This study, conducted by UVNSW members, identified damaging interactions between marine debris and marine biota at some key locations along the NSW coastline, highlighting the need for management intervention to ensure habitat sustainability. It reinforces the important contribution that volunteers can make to assessing conservation issues requiring broad-scale data collection.