Adam Smith

Adam Smith
Reef Ecologic

BSc(Hons), PhD, MBA
Research on coral reef fish, sharks, seagrass and human interactions. Strategic advice on environmental sustainability

About

106
Publications
43,322
Reads
How we measure 'reads'
A 'read' is counted each time someone views a publication summary (such as the title, abstract, and list of authors), clicks on a figure, or views or downloads the full-text. Learn more
831
Citations
Citations since 2016
59 Research Items
468 Citations
2016201720182019202020212022020406080100120140
2016201720182019202020212022020406080100120140
2016201720182019202020212022020406080100120140
2016201720182019202020212022020406080100120140
Introduction
I work collaboratively to share knowledge, provide strategic advice and training to improve the outlook for coral reefs and communities. Currently working on marine parks, reef restoration, underwater art, shark mitigation, climate change assessment and policy, outlook reporting and leadership training in Australia, Cook Islands and Saudi Arabia.
Additional affiliations
December 2017 - March 2021
James Cook University
Position
  • Professor (Associate)
Description
  • Co-leading a 3 year NESP project on Best practice coral restoration in the Great barrier Reef
June 2014 - May 2019
Reef Ecologic
Position
  • Managing Director
November 1999 - June 2014
Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority
Position
  • Managing Director
Education
July 2002 - December 2003
The University of Queensland
Field of study
  • Management
January 1993 - October 1999
UNSW Sydney
Field of study
  • Science

Publications

Publications (106)
Article
Full-text available
While coral reefs in Australia have historically been a showcase of conventional management informed by research, recent declines in coral cover have triggered efforts to innovate and integrate intervention and restoration actions into management frameworks. Here we outline the multi-faceted intervention approaches that have developed in Australia...
Article
Full-text available
The largest underwater sculpture in the world, the ‘Coral Greenhouse’ by artist Jason deCaires Taylor, was commissioned by the Museum of Underwater Art and installed at John Brewer Reef, Australia, in December 2019. The planning process required certified engineering design drawings associated with design life, durability and suitability of materia...
Technical Report
Full-text available
Executive summary Reef Ecologic Pty Ltd was commissioned by the Australian Seaweed Institute to conduct underwater surveys of algae and benthic habitat in the vicinity of Orpheus Island (Goolboodi). We reviewed several collection and citizen science databases that indicated the presence of Sargassum and Asparagopsis in the region. The survey method...
Article
Full-text available
We developed and applied a method to quantify spearfisher effort and catch, shark interac- tions and shark depredation in a boat-based recreational spearfishing competition in the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park in Queensland. Survey questions were designed to collect targeted quantitative data whilst minimising the survey burden of spearfishers. We...
Technical Report
Full-text available
The largest underwater sculpture in the world, the 'Coral Greenhouse’ by artist Jason deCaires Taylor, was commissioned by the Museum of Underwater Art and installed at John Brewer Reef in December 2019. The underwater installation comprises 49 sculptures. A condition of permits G19/42006.1 and G20/44358.1 is to conduct annual monitoring of substra...
Technical Report
Full-text available
Reef Ecologic facilitated a citizen science event (ReefBlitz 2022) between 1-8 June 2022. This initiative aimed to involve users of the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area in observing and learning about wildlife in their local area. We chose the citizen science app iNaturalist as it was previously used for ReefBlitz in 2014 and 2015 and it is...
Technical Report
Full-text available
Reef Ecologic were contracted by Subcon Technologies Pty Ltd to facilitate propagation of corals at the Wonder Reef artificial reef site in Southport, Gold Coast. Wonder Reef has nine reef structures. Each structure comprises a steel and concrete reef foundation (4m x 4m) and a buoyant steel reef flute (2 types - about 8m x 3m and 7m x 4m). The re...
Technical Report
Full-text available
Researchers completed an expedition to Helix Reef and surveyed four sites utilising multiple citizen science tools: Citizens of the GBR Great Barrier Reef Census, Eye on the Reef’s Reef Health Impact Survey and iNaturalist. We took over 1000 underwater photographs and videos. We report several endangered and protected species including Green turtle...
Article
Full-text available
Climate change poses substantial risks to natural and human systems and effective response is essential. Underwater sculptures have been installed at multiple global locations to restore damaged reefs, increase tourism and educate visitors. There has been limited research that evaluates the environmental, social, cultural and economic costs of impa...
Article
Declining coral cover on tropical coral reefs often results in a concomitant increase in macroalgae. When proliferation of macroalgae persists outside of regular seasonal growth, it can shift the ecosystem dominance away from corals into a permanently altered system. Such an altered system is unlikely to recover naturally, despite ample supply of c...
Article
Scientific, tourism and non-government organisations collaborated to design and undertake a small-scale coral outplanting intervention at Fitzroy Island, the Great Barrier Reef (GBR), Cairns, Australia. Activities were implemented to assist recovery of a reef showing signs of reduced coral cover after recent coral bleaching and to trial potential f...
Article
Full-text available
Dogtooth tuna, Gymnosarda unicolor were sampled off the east coast of Australia (southwest Pacific Ocean) from 2007 to 2012. Ages were determined by examining thin transverse sections of their sagittal otoliths and were based on counts of alternating opaque and translucent zones (annual growth increments). Growth was rapid during the first year of...
Technical Report
Vingroup sought advice from Reef Ecologic Pty Ltd to provide strategic advice about enhancing existing marine protected areas and options for the future. Vingroup has undertaken some desktop research and interviews with local fishermen, local divers, and opinions from the Marine Institute of Oceanology and Institute of Ecology & Biological Resource...
Technical Report
Full-text available
Reef Ecologic Pty Ltd was commissioned by Greaton Keswick to conduct underwater surveys of benthic habitat along the potential footprint of the proposed marina site at Horseshoe Bay, Keswick island. The survey methodology involved quantitative and qualitative methods including underwater habitat surveys using Reef Health Impact Surveys (RHIS) at 16...
Technical Report
Full-text available
This report is based on methods outlined in the monitoring plan designed by Reef Ecologic Pty Ltd and Whitsundays Regional Council which clarifies monitoring activities for the underwater sculptures at Manta Ray Bay, Blue Pearl Bay, Langford Reef and Horseshoe Bay. Monitoring comprises 3 primary elements below: 1. Environmental, 2. Social and 3. I...
Article
Full-text available
An exceptionally large coral Porites sp. has been identified and measured at Goolboodi (Orpheus Island), Great Barrier Reef (GBR). This coral was measured in March 2021 during citizen science research of coral reefs in the Palm Islands group. We conducted a literature review and consulted scientists to compare the size, age and health of the Porite...
Technical Report
Full-text available
This report is the first desktop assessment of biological and cultural values of Wulgurukaba Sea Country. It documents cultural knowledge and recent marine scientific research. We have used Wulguru language names for key marine habitats and species (from Donahue 1977) to recognise and share traditional, cultural and scientific knowledge. We summari...
Technical Report
Full-text available
Following several shark bite incidents in the Whitsundays from 2018 to 2019, the Queensland Government commissioned research to understand the abundance, distribution and movement of sharks in the Whitsundays. In conjunction with this research, Fisheries Queensland commissioned Reef Ecologic to work with key stakeholders in the Whitsundays to inves...
Technical Report
Full-text available
A rapid monitoring assessment of fish and invertebrates at the Coral Greenhouse, (a large underwater sculpture) located at John Brewer Reef was conducted in February 2021. A total of 257 individuals were observed from 41 species of fish. We found a significant difference in fish abundance in 2018 compared to 2020. No significant changes were observ...
Technical Report
Full-text available
The Museum of Underwater Art (MOUA) is an innovative project combining underwater art, research and education proposed for the waters around Townsville, Queensland. The aims of the project are to increase knowledge, education, stewardship, tourism and conservation of the Reef and the region This Public Information Package focuses on Stage 2 and 3...
Chapter
The growing interest in coral reef restoration projects is relatively recent in Australia. It reflects a sense of urgency for action to confront the declines in coral reef health and tourism amenity, and an increase in funding opportunities and management support. This case study shares knowledge from eleven small-scale projects that have been depl...
Technical Report
Full-text available
In August 2020 and April 2021, Reef Ecologic conducted environmental site assessments of potential intertidal and subtidal sites for underwater sculptures adjacent to Magnetic Island. The team obtained aerial drone and underwater photographs and surveyed the sites for benthic cover. The 2021 site assessment builds on the previous 2017 site assessme...
Chapter
This chapter collates historical information about the people and organisations who have contributed to active reef restoration over the past 40 years. We include indigenous people, scientists, managers, communicators, educators and business. We also present results from a global literature review of reef restoration covering 52 countries, with the...
Technical Report
Full-text available
A document prepared to satisfy Condition F6 of Marine Parks Permit G19/42006.1 to provide a plan for monitoring substrate, ecological monitoring including coral reef health, social impact\aesthetics and marine debris and condition 12 of Marine Parks Permit G20/44358.1 to provide a monitoring plan for outplanted specimens and out-planting site monit...
Article
Full-text available
The remote Kanton (Abariringa) Atoll, in the South Pacific Phoenix Islands Protected Area, was assessed using rapid techniques to describe the infrastructure, fish, coral, birds, vegetation, sharks, turtles and marine mammals. Median live coral cover was 28% (8% - 93%) with 11 coral genera, the most abundant being tabular Acropora spp. A total of 1...
Technical Report
Full-text available
As coral cover in the Great Barrier Reef (GBR) continues to degrade, pressure is growing for direct interventions to assist the recovery of corals. A range of coral restoration and assisted recovery techniques have been trialed overseas and in Australia, however there has not to date been an evaluation of what will work best in GBR conditions. This...
Technical Report
Full-text available
Coral nurseries and reef restoration were established in the Whitsundays region in 2018. In June 2020 Reef Ecologic and partners outplanted the surviving 955 coral colonies onto the surrounding reef at Blue Pearl and Manta Ray Bays. There were two objectives of the research: 1. Compare pre, post and 6 monthly monitoring of coral cover, fish and in...
Technical Report
Full-text available
Six underwater sculptures were permitted to be installed at four locations in the Whitsundays\Bowen regions or the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park. This document was prepared to satisfy conditions 23-27 of Marine Parks Permit G19/41557.1 to provide a plan for monitoring substrate, ecological monitoring including coral reef health, social impact\aest...
Research Proposal
Full-text available
A document prepared to satisfy Condition F6 of Marine Parks Permit G19/42006.1 to provide a plan for monitoring substrate, ecological monitoring including coral reef health, social impact\aesthetics and marine debris
Technical Report
Full-text available
The Museum of Underwater (MOUA) ‘Coral greenhouse artwork’ comprises 47 facilities including a large greenhouse structure containing 8 human figures and 8 benches. Surrounding the Coral Greenhouse are 14 trees, 9 human figures, 4 planter boxes and 3 pavements. The Reef Ecologic team conducted a scientific assessment of the substrate and marine li...
Technical Report
Full-text available
Innovative underwater, multi-story, ecologically friendly coral nurseries (trays, ropes) established in 2018 at two popular Whitsunday tourism locations were supported by a 6 month bridging grant from the Great Barrier Reef Foundation to Reef Ecologic for 2020. Regular monthly field trips were undertaken by scientists, citizen scientists and touris...
Technical Report
Full-text available
In December 2018 the Reef Restoration Foundation established the first coral nurseries at Fitzroy Island, near Cairns, Australia. The first cohort of nursery raised coral colonies were outplanted onto degraded sections of the surrounding reef in September 2018. We measured changes in benthic cover over a 12 month period to assess the effect of outp...
Technical Report
Full-text available
Hayman Island resort is constructing a desalination system and the pipeline is proposed to be located over the reef flat and onto the reef slope, finishing approximately 200m offshore at a minimum depth of 12 meters of water. The pipeline is approximately 0.5m wide and a total width of between 1.6m and 3m including the anchors. The scope of works f...
Article
Full-text available
Coral reef ecosystems have suffered an unprecedented loss of habitat-forming hard corals in recent decades. While marine conservation has historically focused on passive habitat protection, demand for and interest in active restoration has been growing in recent decades. However, a disconnect between coral restoration practitioners, coral reef mana...
Technical Report
Full-text available
Environmental site assessments of three potential intertidal and subtidal sites for underwater sculptures adjacent to the Palm Island township were conducted in October 2019. Aerial drone and underwater photographs were obtained, sites measured and species lists of coral, fish and invertebrates collated. The purpose of this report is to share kno...
Technical Report
Full-text available
A report of the establishment of 10 coral nursery frames and the propagation of 1245 coral colonies at Blue Pearl Bay (n=495) and Manta Ray Bay (n=750), Whitsundays, Great barrier Reef, Australia
Technical Report
Full-text available
A report on the proposed Museum of Underwater Art project at John Brewer Reef. This has been prepared as a Public Information and Consultation package under Regulation 88PD of the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Regulations 1983 (Cth). The Museum of Underwater Art (MOUA) is a major underwater sculpture installation project that has been under devel...
Technical Report
Full-text available
The Whitsunday reef recovery and public art project commenced in May 2018 and is due for completion by December 2019. The project is delivered on behalf of the Department of Innovation, Tourism Industry Development and the Commonwealth Games and led by Reef Ecologic Pty Ltd in partnership with Tourism Whitsundays, Whitsunday Regional Council with a...
Article
Full-text available
The aesthetic appreciation of natural places is one of the most fundamental ways in which people relate to their environment. It provides wellbeing, an opportunity for recreation and reflection, a sense of place, and cultural enrichment. It also motivates people to take care of natural places and to conserve them for current and future appreciation...
Data
The verbatim list of indicators of aesthetic values, how they have been thematically coded, and categorised into the final list of 12 indicators. (DOCX)
Data
The 181 photos used in the quantitative study. (DOCX)
Technical Report
Full-text available
This document summarises the activities involved in the establishment of two coral nurseries in the Whitsundays region in November and December 2018.
Technical Report
Full-text available
In December 2017, the Reef Restoration Foundation in collaboration with a team of volunteers, local businesses, organisations and researchers established the first coral nursery on the Great Barrier Reef. The project was implemented in the shallow fringing reef around Fitzroy Island, 25km east of Cairns. Six coral nursery trees were successfully de...
Article
Full-text available
Coral reef ecosystems are under increasing pressure by multiple stressors that degrade reef condition and function. Although improved management systems have yielded benefits in many regions, broad‐scale declines continue and additional practical and effective solutions for reef conservation and management are urgently needed. Ecological interventi...
Technical Report
Full-text available
A detailed scientific assessment of coral, fish, invertebrates and sediment at John Brewer Reef and two control sites was undertaken in May 2018. The surveys were undertaken in 14-18m of water, The scoping visit and site assessments indicates that the proposed site for the Museum of Underwater Art on the NE corner of John Brewer Reef is highly suit...
Technical Report
Full-text available
This Monitoring and Evaluation Plan guides collection of information required to support management of PIPA in accord with the objectives of the Phoenix Islands Protected Area Management Plan 2015-2020. These objectives encompass the range of values and issues that characterise the Protected Area and underpin listing on the UNESCO World Heritage re...
Article
Full-text available
Globally, coastal habitat restoration is growing in recognition as a viable management tool to repair and reinstate valuable coastal habitats and species, such as mangrove and macroalgae forests, salt marshes, seagrass meadows, shellfish and coral reefs (Aronson & Alexander (2013), Restoration Ecology, 293; Anthony et al. (2017) Nature Ecology and...
Technical Report
Full-text available
The Phoenix Island Protected Area Implementation Office (PIPA IO) is responsible for the management of Kanton Island and is required to develop a sustainability plan under the PIPA Management Plan 2015-2020. PIPA IO worked collaboratively with government, international marine park management experts, engineers, scientists, industry and the communit...
Technical Report
Full-text available
In the past 50 years there has been a significant growth in the pursuit of water-based experiences for sport, leisure, recreation, and tourism. Internationally, there is an emerging trend toward “value adding” by offering interactive and educational tourism and recreational experiences. These include learning opportunities (educational signage, sno...
Technical Report
Full-text available
This is the first of two assessment reports that address key values and issues associated with the development of a Kanton Resource Use Sustainability Plan (KRUSP). This first report focuses on marine and terrestrial ecosystem assessment. The second and related assessment report addresses infrastructure. This report describes the methodology, resu...
Technical Report
Full-text available
Executive summary Over the past four decades, thousands of marine protected areas (MPAs) have been established worldwide. The first MPA established in Vietnam was the Nha Trang Bay Marine Protected Area (MPA) in 2001. The main objectives of MPAs in Vietnam are to conserve the biodiversity and improve livelihoods. The site is an “area of highest nat...
Method
Full-text available
A Standard Operational Procedure (SOP) for Reef Recovery which involves removal of macro algae (seaweed). The SOP includes equipment required, team numbers and roles, Best environmental practices and documentation.
Technical Report
Full-text available
No universally accepted code of practice or conduct exists for the practice and management of recreational fisheries (Cowx and Arlinghaus 2008). In Australia, a national code of practice for recreational and sport fishing was identified as a need in the 1994 National Recreational Fishing Policy. In 1995, state government, recreational fishers and p...
Technical Report
Full-text available
Marine parks and reserves have existed in Australia for more than 50 years. The Great Barrier Reef Marine Park was established in 1975 and has been the global leader in multiple use management and community engagement. There are six marine parks in NSW, incorporating 345,100 hectares or almost 35% of the NSW marine jurisdiction. Marine and terrestr...
Technical Report
Full-text available
Executive summary Reef Ecologic Pty Ltd was commissioned by Laguna Island Adventures Pty Ltd (the permitee) to conduct underwater observational surveys consistent with the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority request to 1. Document baseline marine life and debris adjacent to the Hook Island Observatory and jetty, and 2. Inspection report of the...
Article
Full-text available
Proponents argue that spearfishing is selective and ecologically sustainable. The article discusses the good, the bad and the ugly of spearfishing. If focussed on recommended best practice and poor practice. Keystone species and fish that the reef needs are listed.
Article
Full-text available
Controversial, divisive, emotive: Spearfishing has many detractors. But if you care about the health of our oceans, and you’re still eating fish, it might be time to consider whether going out and catching it on a breath-hold dive, adhering to strict “best practices”, is one of the more sustainable ways to be doing it. Here, Dr Adam Smith, who has...
Article
Full-text available
Scientists are increasingly utilising non-traditional data to assist with defining biological baselines and for monitoring environmental change. These data present challenges not encountered with traditional, fit-for-purpose scientific data, including engaging with data owners, building trust and maintaining relationships, analysing and interpretin...
Article
Full-text available
ABSTRACT: Physical barriers can have profound impacts on dispersal in marine species. Here, we investigate population structure and levels of relatedness among individuals of the coral reef associated fish, the dogtooth tuna Gymnosarda unicolor , collected from 15 sites across the Indo-West Pacific region. We screened 92 individuals for genetic var...
Article
Full-text available
We describe the isolation and development of 13 polymorphic microsatellite loci for the reef-associated dogtooth tuna Gymnosarda unicolor (Perciformes: Scombridae). The loci were tested on 20 individuals from a single population at Flinders Reef, located off the east coast of Australia. No evidence of linkage disequilibrium was detected between any...
Article
The Great Barrier Reef (GBR) region of Queensland, Australia, encompasses a complex and diverse array of tropical marine ecosystems of global significance. The region is also a World Heritage Area and largely within one of the world's best managed marine protected areas. However, a recent World Heritage Committee report drew attention to serious go...