In what could be a world first, marine scientists are mapping the entire Great Barrier Reef.

It’s hoped the ‘big picture’ will restore the sensitive coral environment.

Ashleigh Dwan reports.


The 33-metre Fleur de Passion is on an epic research venture.

It’s travelling the world, right now operating between Cooktown and Cairns.

On board University of Queensland researchers are surveying 200 coral reefs.

Dr Chris Roelfsema, University of Queensland: “We are on our way to get the first, what we call, geomorphic map out. It describes the reefs, slopes and crests.”

The information is part of bigger plan to better manage and protect the reef.

Anna Marsden, Great Barrier Reef Foundation: “We’re able to rebuild the reef and ensure it can come back to its glorious level that has been before.”

But the Federal Budget isn’t helping.

Although there’s been no money allocated to the environment in the latest Federal Budget, the Great Barrier Reef Foundation will continue the fight against climate change.

It has a number of projects in the works to improve reef resilience and restoration.

Anna Marsden, Great Barrier Reef Foundation: “Whether we had a good news or bad news out of the budget our focus remains the same.”

The Fleur de Passion is halfway through its four-year voyage.

Ashleigh Dwan, QUT News.