Citizen Science and Prawns

Prawn Watch is a citizen science project run by the Swan River Trust’s River Guardians program aimed at increasing the community’s understanding of prawns in Western Australia’s Swan and Canning rivers, and Gaia Resources has participated in this by developing the Prawn Watch app.  This is our second app for the Swan River Trust, following on from the successful Dolphin Watch app we released in 2014 (with a new update released for that this week, as well).

The Prawn Watch app for Apple and Android mobile devices was developed by Gaia Resources with guidance from the River Guardians program. It allows the prawning community to simply record and upload catch data to a River Guardians database. This information will then be assessed by the researchers and the results will contribute to the long-term sustainable conservation aims of the project.

Prawnwatch mobile screens

Screenshots from the Mobile app

The new app complements the research program – which includes culturing the Western School Prawn for release and understanding the factors limiting recruitment – and encourages community engagement through data collection, information sharing and the promotion of river friendly activities and sustainable fishing practices.

At the launch of the Prawn Watch app in January 2015 WA Fisheries Minister Ken Baston said Prawn Watch was an exciting citizen science project linked to the Western School Prawn restocking program which was focused on restocking the Swan and Canning rivers with prawns, and the launch was accompanied by a media release – and even a Channel 9 news article which featured our Director, Piers Higgs.


The Channel 9 news article about the Prawn Watch launch

The app has already been used to record data this season, and you can see a map of the reports for this season live via the Coastal Walkabout web site at this link.

Some updates for the Prawn Watch app and web site are being finalised to add more functionality to the site and make it even easier to record information about the Prawns in the Swan and Canning Rivers.

For more information, feel free to contact me via email, or drop us a line on Facebook or Twitter.


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