looking down on a diver wearing a bandanna taking a photo of a coral reef

Building reef monitoring capabilities across the Asia Pacific

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21 June 2023

AIMS scientists are working with Southeast Asian and Pacific nations on a scalable approach to building coral reef monitoring capabilities.

The project, supported by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, is harnessing AIMS’ ReefCloud platform - an open-access online tool that combines artificial intelligence and advanced data science to support faster, more efficient monitoring and delivery of science to inform reef management.

The AIMS team recently returned from Brunei, where they collaborated with Brunei Department of Fisheries to train professionals using modern monitoring methods and newly developed technology, such as ReefCloud, for rapid data collection, analysis, and reporting.

Brunei reef managers with AIMS scientists enroute to collect reef images.

AIMS Research Team leader and ReefCloud Director Dr Manuel Gonzalez Rivero said the aim was to build coral reef monitoring capabilities, broaden community participation, and inform sustainable management of the precious ecosystems that support Asia Pacific community wellbeing and livelihoods.

“This year, we began a new chapter tailoring the implementation of ReefCloud to support its use in Southeast Asia and the Pacific,” he said.

“Focusing on Samoa, Vietnam, the Philippines, and Brunei, we will develop a scalable approach to building capabilities in modern coral reef monitoring.

“This new phase promotes a more readily available and integrated science to support evidence-based management.

“With the contribution and expertise from diverse partners across nations, we are adapting and refining ReefCloud to ensure it meets end-user needs and accelerates our progress as a community to manage marine resources sustainably.”

A diver from the Brunei Department of Fisheries collecting data for ReefCloud Photo: Samuel Chan