Spotlight on Reef Check Site
|Reef Check Teams in Action|
|Indonesia: Coral Reefs hit the pop charts.
A national training workshop in Bali (July 23-27) included training volunteers from throughout SE Asia. Volunteers from several islands throughout the archipelago, including Sumatra, Bali, Java, and Sulawesi, attended the workshop to build capacity for coral reef conservation and strengthen the relationship between Reef Check Indonesia and WWF?s Wallacea program. Funded by a grant from an anonymous donor and the East-Asia Pacific Environment Initiative, attendees included 3 dive instructors from Lumba-Lumba divers, a dive operation on Pulau Weh (an island off the north coast of Aceh in Western Indonesia).
A frequently repeated question is: How to raise awareness among young people about the coral reef crisis? An innovative solution was found in Indonesia. Nugie, a popular Indonesian singer, is topping the pop charts with his new song, 'Hingga ke Terumbu Karang' (Up To the Reef). Working with Friends of the Reef and Reef Check Indonesia, Nugie wrote his song to promotes coral reef conservation and relate the impacts of poorly planned development on land to the impacts on downstream coral reefs. Featured on MTV Asia, the song has raised awareness and knowledge among the younger generation. In another recent educational program, Reef Check and Friends of the Reef, an NGO dedicated to coral reef conservation, held a drawing competition among elementary school children in Bali. The children were taught about coral reef ecology and conservation and asked to draw pictures of themselves as fish. We received hundreds of beautiful drawings from talented children and have included one winning entry here — “If I were a Fish” by Angelina K. Winna, St. Yoseph's elementary school.
Reef Check Oahu
Return of Reef Check Israel
British Virgin Islands: Association of Reef Keepers
|Spotlight on Reef Check Site|
|Cocos (Keeling), Australia.
The Cocos (Keeling) Islands is a remote coral atoll made up of 27 islands surrounding a central turquoise colored lagoon. These reefs are some of the most remote in the world, situated in the Indian Ocean 2,950 km northwest of Perth, Australia and 900 km southwest of Christmas Island.
The 27 islands are formed on two small, isolated mid oceanic atolls. One solitary island 24 km to the north of the main atoll is North Keeling, now known as Pulu Keeling National Park. Only two of the 27 islands are inhabited by a population of 600 Cocos Malay and 100 government servants from Australia. The 26 islands that make up the southern atoll cover a total landmass 14 km2. The islands have been a focus of coral atoll research since the days when Charles Darwin visited the atoll in April 1836. On his voyage home after a three-year journey aboard the HMS Beagle, Darwin stayed on Cocos for ten days and recorded evidence to support his theory of coral atoll formation.
Robert (Greenie) Thorn has been volunteering his time as Reef Check coordinator in Cocos since 1997. Greenie is a horticulturalist and conservationist who works for Parks Australia. He and Wendy Murray, RC volunteer, annually organize and participate in Clean Up Australia Day activities on land and underwater around Cocos and assist the Cocos school with environmental activities such as surveying fish nursery areas, endangered species discussions and environmental activities. Additional Reef Check activities in Cocos include working with various clubs, private businesses and other government and non-government agencies to install mooring buoys around the islands for commercial dive operations. The moorings program has installed 23 public moorings at 9 locations around Cocos. Greenie and Wendy plan to install 11 permanent monitoring sites this year which will bring the total Reef Check sites to 16. For more information about Reef Check in Cocos, contact Greenie at Robert.Thorn@ea.gov.au. Thanks Greenie, Wendy, and everyone on the Cocos RC team!
|Trainings and Workshops|
|Guangxi Autonomous Region, China Provincial Training
Guanxi, the southernmost mainland region of the People?s Republic of China, is an important reef area with coastal fringing and offshore reefs. A US NOAA/NOS International-sponsored RC training workshop was held in Guangxi, China, June 22-30. Thunderstorms and bad weather prevailed, but Reef Check Hong Kong coordinator and trainer Keith Kei was able train nine local government officials, including representatives from the Guangxi Oceanic Administration and the Institute of Oceanography, as well as four volunteers from local dive shops. Thanks Keith!
RC Training Center in Phuket hosts first SE Asian Regional Training of Trainers
UNEP GCRMN/RC Regional Training Workshop: Eastern Caribbean
Allan Smith, of the Caribbean Natural Resources Institute (CANARI), in collaboration with Kai Wulf of the Soufriere Marine Management Authority (SMMA) and Reef Check Director Gregor Hodgson, conducted a training of trainers workshop for GCRMN/Reef Check in Soufriere, St. Lucia from July 11-13th. The Workshop, funded by the Caribbean Regional Coordinating Unit of the United Nations Environment Program promoted the establishment of sustainable coral reef education, monitoring and management programs in eight nations: Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados, Cuba, Dominica, Grenada, St. Lucia, St Vincent and the Grenadines, Trinidad and Tobago. For most countries, participants were pairs ? one dive operator and one government officer. UNEP is building on its success in other parts of the world promoting the use of the Reef Check community-level monitoring program as an entry point for nations trying to monitor and manage their coastal resources. Participants interviewed after the training commented that Reef Check is particularly well-suited for use in the Caribbean due to its low cost, rapid training, low taxonomic requirements and the high information content of the results. All participants signed on as new RC coordinators and developed implementation plans for 2001-2 (contact us for a list or see our website). It was particularly helpful for participants to observe how the well-run SMMA is using Reef Check to evaluate management successes. SMMA is an excellent model for the Caribbean. More info.
|Why the wait for the fish?
In each issue of The Transect Line, we will be highlighting a part of the Reef Check's methodology to try and answer some of our volunteer's frequently asked questions. People often ask, “Why wait for the fish?”
Fish are disturbed by divers, especially divers using scuba. Many retreat into holes and crevices in the reef and others may swim away. Reef Check methods specify that divers or snorkelers conducting the fish transect are to wait 15 minutes after the transect line has been laid down before starting the survey in order to let the fish return to the disturbed area and come out of hiding. Once the 15-minute waiting period has passed and the count has begun, the divers must also stop every 5 meters, wait for 1-3 minutes, then swim slowly for 5 meters- counting fish only while they are swimming. The intention of the waiting period is to allow timid fish, to swim out and be counted. Care should be taken not to double-count fish that swim through the belt-transect more than once. By using this standard method of counting all over the world, results can be compared between regions.
Reef Check gets Non-Profit Tax Status in US.
A gift of $100 allows you to sponsor a Reef Check team of your choice. For more information on team locations, please visit our website at http://www.reefcheck.org/teams.htm. You can also donate any amount directly over the internet by clicking on the button at right. Reef Check also accepts tax-deductible donations of scuba gear, underwater photo/video gear, airplane tickets/frequent flyer miles, and lodging and boat time for survey teams. For additional information on how you can help Reef Check, please contact our Development Director, Jarrett Smith at 1-310-794-4985.
Upcoming MAC meeting in August
Successful filming of RC for Coral Reef Adventure
The global coral reef education, monitoring and management program.
The Reef Check Foundation