Through my involvement as a field team member on the XL Catlin Seaview Survey, we collected thousands of 360-degree underwater “streetview” images of coral reefs in the Indo-Pacific. You can see them all on the Global Reef Record and selected 360 images are available on Google Oceans.
Less than 1% of the world’s population SCUBA dives and this access to reefs is important for awareness and conservation of these unique and important ecosystems. In the Indo-Pacific especially about 300 million people are estimated to rely on coral reef resources.
As the Scientific Exploration Society’s Elodie Sanford Explorer I will aim to bring virtual “diving” experiences to communities in Timor-Leste who have/are working to protect their coral reefs. I feel strongly that providing this immersive experience to communities that rely on these resources and are on the front lines to protect them is an important missing link in conservation.
Check out Jaco Island in Timor-Leste up in Google Oceans!