AIMS diver using a manta board

AIMS’s monitoring programs contribute to the sustainable use and development of the tropical marine environment by setting baselines and by advising managers of changes in ecosystems and the environment.

AIMS has the only long-term, comprehensive dataset covering the health of the Great Barrier Reef, spanning three decades.

The first large-scale monitoring program at AIMS was established in the early 1980s to study the distribution and abundance of crown-of-thorns starfish on the Reef.

Continuing research and support for long-term data collection has since seen expanded monitoring of reef organisms and environmental monitoring of water quality, weather, and sea temperatures.

In recent years, AIMS has been developing new remote-sensing technologies to augment the observations collected on research voyages, including baited remote underwater video stations that can survey areas beyond the safe limits of research diving.

Ultimately, these new observing technologies will reduce the need for physical site inspections and provide a more complete picture of the status and trends of marine ecosystems across all of northern Australia.

More information

AIMS monitors many aspects of the Great Barrier Reef, other reef ecosystems and the open ocean, including: