Macro Algae Monitoring & Management

Macro algae are a natural part of our ocean ecosystems, providing a food sources to grazing herbivores and regulating the ocean environment by absorbing carbon dioxide and nitrates whilst releasing oxygen. However due to shifts in nutrient levels flowing onto the reef, macro algae overgrowth is a growing concern. They can foul over coral, take up value clear substrate preventing coral larvae to land and grow, as well as cause eutrophication and harmful blooms that can devoid the ocean of life.

This course builds upon the lessons learnt in the Ecological Monitoring Program and aims to dive deeper into understand macro algae coverage, species variance and impacts to the reef environment.



  • Be certified as an Advanced diver under a leading diving organization (PADI, SSI, RAID, etc) or an Open Water diver who has satisfactorily completed a buoyancy appraisal with a professional dive.
  • Demonstrate proper diving ability at an advanced Level and be proficient in buoyancy and self-awareness.
  • Be certified in our Ecological Monitoring Program


  • Understand the difference between terrestrial and marine plants
  • Be familiar with the 3 types of micro algae
  • Learn about the importance of the evolution of cyanobacteria to life on earth
  • Understand the reproductive strategies of macro-algae and how/why these strategies can cause regime shifts on reef ecosystems through overgrowths
  • Learn about the chemical compostion of algae and how this effects pigmentation and the depths at which different genus are found
  • Understand the role of marine plants in the carbon cycle
  • Be familiar with the anatomy and morphology of different types of marine plant and micro-organisms in particular, the diagnostic features used in identification
  • Understand the taxonomic system and organization for classifying marine plants and micro-organisms
  • Learn the techniques required to monitor and record data on marine plant abundance, coverage and biodiversity
  • Learn the names of families and genera


  • Attend knowledge development session
  • Practice identifying marine plants on land using photo analysis and/or specimens
  • Perform 1 survey dive to analyse macro algae coverage using a quadrat
  • Perform 1 survey dive specifically taking data on macro algae genera as part of the EMP substrate dive
  • Be able to accurately identify at least 5 of the most common algae genera to the region
  • Complete e-Learning

Expected course time is about 6 hours

Certification Card

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