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Fiji Coral Reef Health Assessment

February 6 2018

South Pacific Flying Labs will carry out a Biodiversity and Coral Reef Health Assessment - A Comparison between Marine Protected Area and Normal Coral Reef System.

February 6 2018

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Preparation Stage

The young women from local high schools and homes (orphanages) in Fiji analyzed the result video footage to better understand the marine life and health of coral reefs in the area.

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Can you spot the swimming robot being piloted by these young girls (aka rockstars) in Fiji? Many thanks to @UniSouthPacific @dfat_iXc @atlassian @SolveMIT & @openrov for giving us the privilege of training such an outstanding group of young people Fiji! #PacificFlyingLabs

Young girls in #Fiji took our underwater drone, Moana, for her 1st swim in the beautiful waters of the Pacific! Many of these girls don't know how to swim yet, but with Moana at their side they can safely explore the beautiful marine life around their island. #PacificFlyingLabs

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Expedition Background

South Pacific Flying Labs will carry out a Biodiversity and Coral Reef Health Assessment - A Comparison between Marine Protected Area and Normal Coral Reef System. The aim is to compare two different locations, one a protected zone and one not. The underwater drones will be used to capture videos and images which will later be analyzed in the lab. Comparisons between the two sites will be done in terms of biodiversity ( looking at fish, seaweed and coral species separately), water quality (samples will be taken and analyzed by fellow research assistant majoring in chemistry), cleanliness (concentration of rubbish in the surveyed area) and coral health (signs of bleaching, concentration of seaweed etc). The project will be completed with the help of Marine Science masters candidates and the results will be presented before the lecturers on campus with the aim of influencing conservation and clean up activities.

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This is very cool. How much footage will you be using from each location/how much of the project is field work vs video analysis later?