Public Domain

Project of the Week #8: Redmap

This week's project was nominated by Michelle Neil on this Citizen Science Facebook page. Thanks Michelle!

What does this project do?
"What's on the move in Australian seas?" Redmap asks volunteers anywhere on the Australian coast to photograph and log any sightings of fish - particularly those they do not normally see in their area. "Redmap" stands for "Range Extension Database and Mapping project": the aim is to find out in what areas and regarding which species professional research should be focused as climate change warms the seas and species may migrate to other areas.

What do I have to do?
If you've spotted a fish or other marine species on the Australian coast - especially one you haven't seen before - you can check what species it is this page. You'll be asked to upload your photo if you have it, tick the box to say whether or not it's OK to use it on their public sightings page, and either type or select from a menu the fish species. You'll also be asked about the fish's size and the habitat in which you found it, and to log the date and place you saw it, but they do not make the precise place public for security reasons.

There are a variety of other ways Redmap asks for help, including basic awareness raising if you know anyone in Australia who spends time by the sea!

Where can I find out more?
Redmap has large About and FAQ pages, is on Facebook and Twitter, and has been featured in the news. You can check out their scientific publications and the University of Tasmania's page about it.

What’s the Citizen Science Project of the Week?
Citizen Science Project of the Week is a regular Monday feature at Doing It Together Science. What project would you like to see featured? Please let us know on the contact form, Facebook page or email us at info@togetherscience.eu. Please put "Project of the Week" in the subject line and send us a link to the project, some information about it and why you'd like it featured. If you want us to, we'll credit you and tag you on Facebook!

More details
You can read the Australian government information on climate change's effect on marine life, or this one which states that although we know that climate change is having an effect, our knowledge of the specifics of this is "limited and patchy" - which is why ordinary citizens' sightings all around Australia's vast coastline can provide so many valuable specifics.

However, Michelle Neil put it best. She wrote:

"RedMap wants to find out what marine species are being pushed / moving towards Antarctica due to global warming. It encourages weekend fishers, anglers and professional fisherman to take a pic and upload it to the app if they see or catch anything they haven't spotted there before or even if they see something out of season. There has been lots of publications too about this. They are also finalists for the second year running for the Australian Museum Eureka Prizes for Citizen Science (Eureka Prizes are a BIG deal. It is kind of our Nobel Prizes for science in Australia). This project started in Tasmania but has recently been extended to all around Australia and is starting to be available overseas too!"

So if, like most of us (and all of us at DITOs) you're not in Australia, don't be disappointed - Redmap or a similar project may well be coming to you soon. Please let us know if anything like this has reached you already - we'd love to hear about it.