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Posted by on Oct 7, 2013 | 0 comments

ShadowView Takes Off at Australia’s Ningaloo World Heritage Site

ShadowView Takes Off at Australia’s Ningaloo World Heritage Site

ShadowView is proud to announce that it has signed an agreement with Ocean Expeditions to provide eco drones to monitor and study marine megafauna on the famous Ningaloo Coast World Heritage Area in remote North Western Australia.

As one of Australia’s national treasures, the Ningaloo Reef has recently been granted World Heritage Listing along with the spectacular Cape Range for their outstanding natural significance. The Ningaloo Reef lies within the Ningaloo Marine Park and is one of the largest fringing coral reefs in the world at over 300 km long and the only major coral reef system on the west side of any continent. The reef is important to whale sharks, manta rays, turtles, dugongs, humpback whales and a plethora of other large marine megafauna.

Oceanwise was first created in 1998 by a group of dedicated young scientists to promote awareness of the Ningaloo environment. To achieve this goal, the group aimed to conduct original research and management initiatives in conjunction with the Department of Parks and Wildlife, WA Universities and other public and private bodies. Oceanwise have a well established reputation for achieving conservation outcomes for the Ningaloo Reef.

The Oceanwise team have advanced qualifications in marine science specific to the Ningaloo region including whale shark biology and ecology, tropical coral and fish ecology, geomorphology, carbonate sedimentology and habitat mapping. Oceanwise run marine expeditions that provide a unique, quality marine ecotourism experience focusing on environmental and cultural education, appreciation and respect.

Ocean Wise goals:

– Compliment existing marine management research and initiatives within the Ningaloo Coast World Heritage Area by working with the relevant public and private bodies to undertake research programs.

– Promote public awareness of the Ningaloo environment, including whale sharks, through educational and research-based ecotourism expeditions.

– Involve the local community and public in fieldwork programs for research and data gathering exercises.

– Contribute to scientific knowledge and conservation of the marine environment including whale sharks.

– Operate a low cost organisation, drawing funding and resources from educational and ecotourism projects, established government initiatives, self-funding awareness programs, research funding and private sector sponsorship.

– Work in collaboration with the North West Cape Exmouth Aboriginal Corporation for conserving coastal environments important for indigenous heritage and culture.

ShadowView’s role will be to assist Ocean Wise in achieving these goals by using our eco drones or ‘UAS’ – unmanned aerial systems.

“This partnership between Shadowview and Oceanwise will enable both organisations to make significant contributions to the scientific understanding of some of the worlds most threatened and endangered marine megafauna”, says Ben Fitzpatrick, lead marine scientist at Oceanwise. “Shark and ray species such as whale sharks and manta rays, marine mammals such as humpback whales and dugongs and marine turtles are increasing under threat of extinction globally. Applying leading UAV technology to new research missions on these species of extreme conservation significance will greatly assist our scientists efforts to understand these animals before it is to late. This really is a new frontier in exposing just a few of the many secrets our oceans still hold.”

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