Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary ID Programs

Invertebrate ID

Northeast REEF Fish ID

Jonathan Bird filmed an episode of his PBS show at the 2012 GAFC. You can view it on the Blue World Website

The GAFC was featured in an article in May 2012 issue of New England Diving News. Click here to view the full page story!

The Gloucester Times did a great story on the 2009 event, view it here

How can I help out?
If you would like to donate prizes, coordinate a site, or to sign up to dive, contact Brie. To help with the setup, contact Maura

What are the requirements to participate?
You must be a member of REEF to submit a survey. You must also pre-register using this form. Before diving, you must fill out the liability waiver and bring it with you to the dive.

What kind of raffle prizes are there?
We have raised thousands of dollars worth of prizes in the past, ranging from dive vacations to masks and regulartors.

How Does it work?
Simply fill out a survey for the fish you are seeing, and turn the forms in at Stage Fort Park before 2:00PM

When is the raffle Drawing?
The drawing will be held at 3:00PM

How much does it cost?
Stage fort park charges $15.00 for parking (free parking is also available nearby), and the NEADC is asking for $7 for food.

Great Annual Fish Count

The 2017 GAFC Will be held on July 22nd

GAFC LogoWe had a great turnout for last year's event, and we want to make the this year's event (now in it's 16th year!) even better!

So far this year, we have over $5,600 in prizes from the following sponsors:

  • Northeast Scuba
  • Littler Mendelson
  • Brie Levitan
  • Dan Sprague
  • New England Aquarium
  • Uma Mirani
  • Ted Maney/Salem State Scuba
  • Mass Diving
  • Oceanic Society
  • REEF
  • Cape Ann Charters
  • East Coast Divers
  • Jonathan Bird
  • Boston Sea Rovers
  • Andy Martinez
  • Undersea Divers
  • Jerry Shine
  • SMB
  • Boston Scuba
  • Metrowest Dive Club
  • Much more!
Last year we had 70 divers counting the fish and invertebrates they saw. All together, they submitted 79 surveys. Each diver took home a share of over $3,900 worth of prizes. Take a look at the photos from last year's event on our facebook page

NEADC LogoEach year, the New England divers turn out in record numbers to help researchers by surveying fish populations, and you can help count fish and win prizes! This is done by identifying what marine life you see on a dive. After the dive, we gather at Stage Fort Park in Gloucester, for raffle prizes and a BBQ!


What is the GAFC?

Register for the GAFC

You must register for the event AND submit a survey in order to be eligible for the raffle prizes. Dives up to a week prior to the event will count for a raffle entry. Only one raffle entry per diver (so multiple dives don't give multiple raffle entries).

Special GAFC Dives

GAFC-Special Guided Dive with Jerry Shine!

We are happy to announce that local author and underwater photographer Jerry Shine will be leading a dive to count fish and invertebrates for REEF at Back Beach in Rockport on 7/22.  To join this dive you must have a REEF ID (get one free here) and also must sign up in advance for the GAFC on the NEADC site at this link: GAFC-Registration.

Jerry Shine

Jerry Shine, is the author of “A Year Underwater,” “A Shore Diving Guide To New England” and “Nudibranchs Of The Northeast”.   His writing and underwater photography have also appeared in more than 100 publications worldwide, including Audubon, Wired, and National Geographic Adventure.

Fish Count on Boston Scuba's Keep-Ah for GAFC

Interested in doing a boat dive to count fish for the GAFC? Join Brie Levitan (Boat Dive Coordinator) on for an 8 am departure on Friday July 21 on Boston Scuba's "Keep-Ah".
Call Boston Scuba directly at 617-418-5555 to reserve your spot.

Fish and Invertebrate ID

REEF produces live online seminars for fish identification. They have one archives of last year's fish and invertebrate guides:

Get a Backbone! Common invertebrates of New England

The Northeast's Finest Fish

The NEADC also hosts their own identification guides based on REEF's cirriculum:

GAFC Details

Participants need to have a REEF Member # prior to the day of the event.  A REEF member # is required in order to submit a survey and get a raffle ticket.  The process is painless:

Most dives begin at 8 am, with any Maine dives starting at 7am. Sites with Coordinators are listed below, Sign up using our form before July 1st to sign up for a dive. If there are any questions, email Joy Marzolf.

Be sure to fill out the liability waiver and bring it to your dive. The site coordinator will collect them.

After the dives, participants meet at Stage Fort Park. We will have computers set up to fill out your surveys on the REEF website. If you wish to fill out the survey on your own, please bring the REEF confirmation number to the BBQ to get a raffle ticket. (1 raffle ticket / diver no matter how many surveys are handed in). Raffle winners have a choice of prizes, and you must be present to win.

There will be food and drinks for sale, as well as a touch-tank and many other activities. Water, lemonade, and ice tea will be available for free, bring your own water bottle to help the environment!

We will start serving lunch at 11:30 am, and a group photo at 2 followed by the raffle is drawing. For the raffle, when each winners is picked, they have their choice from the pool of prizes. You must be present to win (or have someone designated to pick up your prize) We will not be mailing prizes out.

Dive Sites

We are looking for site coordinators! Email Brie ( if you'd like to help out. If you're an organization, dive shop, or even an individual who wants to help coordinate a dive site for the event, let Brie know. Site coordinators don't need to lead the dives or even enter the water, they check off names of registered divers, and makes sure the waivers are filled out.

Dives begin at 8 am, unless otherwise noted.

2017 Dive Sites with GAFC Coordinators
Site Name
Map Group
Site Coordinator

REEF Zone Code
List of MA Zone Codes


Loblolly Cove

View on map Mass Diving

(Call: 508-651-0698 to sign up, and click here to Register for the BBQ
7/20/17 Gun Rock Beach
Night Dive
View on map Mass Diving

(Call: 508-651-0698 to sign up, and click here to Register for the BBQ)
7/21/17 Graves Light
(Boat Dive)
View on map Boston Scuba

(call: 617-418-5555 to sign up, and click here to Register for the BBQ)
Brie Levitan 91010819


Cathedral Rocks
View on map
MetroWest Dive Club Jim Nannery 91010904
Folly Cove
View on map
NE Divers Keith Kelly 91010901(Left)
Old Garden Beach
View on map
East Coast Divers Kim Malkoski 91010905
Pebble Beach
View on map
New England Aquarium Mike Whyte 91010912
Back Beach
View on map
NEADC Jerry Shine & Brie Levitan 91010909
Popplestone Beach, Magnolia - Meet at 9am View on map Salem State Scuba Ted Maney 91010815
Emergency Contact numbers for Cape Ann
  • Gloucester Harbormaster, Jim Caulkett, 978-282-3012
  • Rockport Harbormaster, Rosemary Lesch, or Scott Story, 978-546-9589
  • Coast Guard Station Gloucester, Emergency 978-283-0704

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