NESP TWQ Round 3 - Project 3.2.4 - Defining, assessing and monitoring Great Barrier Reef aesthetics

A key criteria for inscription of the Great Barrier Reef as a World Heritage Area is Criteria (VII) – exceptional natural beauty & aesthetic importance. Our project will work across social and ecological disciplines to identify, for the first time, indicators that will enable managers to measure and monitor aesthetic values for the GBRWHA. The outcomes will enable managers to predict and minimise aesthetic impacts below, at and above the water within the World Heritage Area, support implementation of the Reef 2050 Long-Term Sustainability Plan and improve decision processes relating to approvals, impact assessment, strategic planning, incident response and policy development. The indicators will be additionally tested using Artificial Intelligence via NESP TWQ project 3.2.3.

This project produced the following datasets:

  1. Aesthetic ratings of all 180 photos used in Project 3.2.4, October 2017. The ratings were obtained online from a representative set of Australians. (status: under review)
  2. Mean ratings of aesthetics, reef health, coral cover, coral pattern, coral topography, fish abundance and visibility on the 180 photos used in Project 3.2.4, October, 2017. The aesthetic ratings were obtained online from a representative set of Australians. All other ratings were obtained from coral reef experts during a workshop in October 2017. (status: under review)

The work in this project was further extended in NESP TWQ Project 5.6 – Designing the Aesthetics Long Term Monitoring Program (ALTMP)




Publication on
8 February 2021
PreviewThis dataset presents the raw data obtained from 1415 online and representative Australian that were asked to aesthetically rate 180 photos of typical coral reef landscapes.