Submitted by Reef Check EcoDiver Trainer Matthieu Petit
Eighteen students from the University of French Polynesia recently were introduced to Reef Check and the EcoDiver program during the course of their studies. Marine biologist Matthieu Petit provided EcoDiver training to the students, enrolled in their 3rd year SVT degree, in practical and theoretical sessions as part of their ecology and marine ecosystems curriculum. The students traveled to the lagoon of Punaauia to count butterflyfish, grouper and giant clams; record coral bleaching, and measure coral cover, the amount of the seabed covered by living coral. The students have been invited to become part of the Polynesian network to contribute to an improved understanding of the region's coral reefs. This new initiative in Polynesia was made possible thanks to a partnership between the University of French Polynesia, the NGO Te Mana o Te Moana and Reef Check.