Maldives Scuba Tours has been working with the Marine Conservation Society (MCS) to carry out liveaboard Reef Check surveys since 2005. They carry out two-week trips in the central atolls of the Maldives twice a year, where the dive guides and boat crew are joined by a Reef Check Team Leader from the UK sent by MCS.
The trip encompasses Reef Check training and at least two sites are surveyed for Reef Check per year. In January and June/July 2005, the trip also used the International Society of Coral Reefs post-tsunami survey technique to record damage to the Maldives reefs, and set up permanent monitoring stations. Survey dives in 2005 recorded little damage from the tsunami, however, many of the inner reefs appear to still be struggling to fully recover from bleaching damage in 1998. The fish populations appear healthy with a large abundance of coral trout, snapper and parrotfish. Manta rays and whale sharks are also recorded on these trips.
The next survey trip is in January 2007, and the following one (with spaces available) will be from July 28th to August 10th 2007. You can book now at: http://www.scubascuba.com/
Visit www.mcsuk.org/mcsaction/diverspages/coral+reef+surveys+with+mcs for more information