Excerpt: Some 95% of the ocean is completely unexplored, unseen by human eyes. That naturally means that there are many marine environments that we don’t know much about, but that we’re still putting at risk from damaging activities such as bottom trawling. Meadows of seagrass – flowering plants that live in shallow, sheltered areas – are a prime example of such a habitat. Knowing the location and value of environments such as seagrass meadows, which are a nursery for fish, is key if we are to tackle our biodiversity crisis. With 70% of the Earth covered by ocean, exploring it all presents an enormous challenge. Thankfully, seagrass meadows are restricted to the shallow waters (less than 90 metres deep), but finding them still isn’t easy. From charismatic and endangered species like seahorse, turtle and dugong to important food fishes like cod and herring, seagrass meadows support rich biodiversity. Importantly, 22% of the world’s most landed fish species (including the Atlantic cod) use seagrass as a home at some stage in their life.

Source: Unsworth, R.K.F., Jones, B.L., Cullen-Unsworth, L., 2017. Why saving our blue planet may lie in the hands of citizen scientists, 23 November 2017. Available at The Conversation: http://theconversation.com/why-saving-our-blue-planet-may-lie-in-the-hands-of-citizen-scientists-74868 [Last accessed 4 December 2017].