Other Reef Check News
|Reef Check Teams in Action|
Mapping the GBR Using Landsat ETM and Reef Check Regional to global scale monitoring of coral reefs can only proceed if existing and long-term field and image data sets can be collected and analyzed consistently. There are now a large variety and time-series of satellite and airborne image data available for coral reef environments. What is the most effective method to extract information from these data for use in monitoring and management programs? A team of scientists from the University of Queensland (Dr. Karen Joyce, Dr. Stuart Phinn, Dr. Christiaan Roelfsema, Dr. David Neil and Dr. William Dennison) has conducted an extensive field campaign covering ten reefs in the Capricorn Bunker Group, southern Great Barrier Reef, Australia, aiming to characterize the spatial variation of common substrate types, using the Reef Check classification scheme. Reef Check substrate classifications were used to classify and ground-truth Landsat ETM image data. The team concluded that adopting the globally standardized Reef Check classifications for both remotely sensed and field data created a valuable management tool. More information.
During the course of 80 dives, no large groupers or Napoleon wrasse were seen. One large adult bumphead parrotfish was spotted at Facpi Point. Sadly, a DAWR biologist learned that a commercial spear fisherman had shot it a week later. These results once again demonstrate the level of overfishing on Guam?s coral reefs.
RC Guam enjoyed strong support from the local dive industry, particularly from Pete Peterson at Micronesian Divers Association and Paul Shida at the Scuba Company. Both of these companies gave-up weekend charters to provide boats and crews. Thanks Pete and Paul! Guam Tropical Dive Station plugged the event several times on their e-zine. Funding for Reef Check was provided by a grant from the All Islands Coral Reef Initiative.
Unlike many island groups in the world, Socotra has remained virtually untouched by modern development and there is no evidence of recent extinction or large-scale changes in vegetation. The marine environments of Socotra Archipelago remain largely in a pristine state, unaltered by coastal pollution or over-exploitation.
RC Socotra has been working on an UNDP/GEF-funded project studying terrestrial endemism and marine biodiversity, and developing a zoning plan for managing the islands. The Socotra team is supported by the Yemen Environment Protection Authority (EPA), and is coordinated by Malek Abdal- Aziz, B.Sc., and fishermen Fuad Naseb, Mohammed Ismail, and Thabit Khamis. For more information contact Malek.
|Reef Check Champions|
This month, we are featuring a Reef Check 'Champion'. RC Champions are individuals who have displayed a commitment to sustaining the coral reefs in their area, specifically those who have made enormous progress in coral reef conservation and education. We hope to have a RC Champion in every newsletter, which shouldn't be too difficult as everyone who volunteers with Reef Check is a champion in his or her own right. If you know a Reef Check Champion that you feel should be highlighted, please email a brief description of their contribution as well as a photo (if possible) to Kelly.
Jun Ochea is a unique individual who has worked with RC Cebu (Philippines) for five years and now serves as lead boat operator, dive guide and all around great guy. Jun is from Olango Island from a community called Talima. Talima is infamous for being a homebase to “pala-ut“, or “long distance” fishermen who, as a result of the degraded/depleted conditions of their own reefs, venture each year all over the Philippines. Paid by their “catch” (which is determined by whatever the trips “sponsor” has ordered, such as marine aquarium species, dried sea cucumbers, shells and the like) they dive these outer reefs for months, either free diving or using improvised “hookah” compressors consisting of an old paint compressor and typically a beer keg as a reserve tank. This is highly dangerous work, which claims many young lives each year and basically “rapes” many reefs. For more information on Olango and this type of fishing, please visit http://www.oneocean.org/.
Jun has become a well-qualified Reef Checker, and has participated in a dozen surveys and presented the results at the recent Phuket, Thailand regional training. As a former fisherman, Jun has been able to communicate with other fishermen on his island and to educate them on the importance of reef conservation efforts. In addition to his RC work, Jun is a talented marine artist who often spends his free time painting beautiful seascapes. Thank you to RC Cebu and coordinator Mike Ross, who also runs Tropical Island Adventures, and submitted this wonderful account to share with us.
|Spotlight on Reef Check Site|
Reef Check Indonesia
Reef Check Indonesia began in 1997 and since that time, RC Indonesia has been responsible for establishing reef education programs for school children and volunteer training in monitoring and management techniques. The Capacity Building For Coral Reef Conservation and Management project, funded by EAPEI/USAID has carried out a large number of Reef Check surveys in Indonesia. The program even attracted private sponsorship of US $15,000 for a national Reef Check workshop last summer.
With the help of Operation Wallacea http://www.opwall.com/, Reef Check is being used to help monitor and manage the Wakatobi Marine Park in the Tukang Besi Islands. These islands are an area of rich biological diversity and provide livelihoods for thousands of coastal people. In 2000, Reef Check was used to survey a range of 19 reefs across the archipelago and baseline assessments of coral reefs were conducted concentrating on benthic condition, reef fish families and invertebrate indicators of stress as designed by the Reef Check program.. In 2001 season Operation Wallacea teams again took part in Reef Check and visited a total of 37 sites during the survey period June – October.
For more information on RC Indonesia, please contact Naneng Setiasih. A huge 'thank you' to RC coordinator Ketut Sarjana Putra for his contribution. Click here for more photos of RC Indonesia. To learn more about Operation Wallacea please contact Sarah Curran, or click here to visit the website.
|Reef Check Honored with Award from NOAA|
United States Coral Reef Task Force Honors Reef Check
|Trainings and Workshops/Meetings|
Ocean Sciences, Honolulu, HI
Trainings in Palau
Upcoming Outings in O'ahu
|Why do we use a plumb line and point sampling method?
The main reason that Reef Checkers are asked to use a weighted ?plumb line? is to reduce ?observer bias.? Normally, when a transect line is deployed on the reef, the transect will pass over depressions, cracks or valleys such that it is not in direct contact with the substratum in some sections. Thus, at a given 0.5 m mark, the observer could look from above and, in a mixed substrate area, choose a variety of different substrate types depending on the angle of observation. For example, looking from directly above the 0.5 m mark might appear to be on ?live coral? whereas moving the viewpoint a little to the right might appear to place the mark on ?sponge? etc. The worst case occurs when there is wave surge and the line is actually swinging back and forth. By dropping a small weight on the end of a light cotton string, the weight will only land on one substratum type and will stop. An 8mm diameter metal nut (as in nuts and bolts), is a good choice for a weight as it has flat sides so comes to rest quickly and is easily tied on. The use of the plumb line removes any need for the observer to try to choose the ?correct? angle of observation. Removing choice reduces the chances for observer bias. By rolling the string up on one or two fingers of the left hand using a twirling motion, the plumb line does not get in the way and is easily dropped each time.
|Other Reef Check News|
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MAQTRAC LAUNCH IN PHILIPPINES
Reef Check Fisheries Scientist Dr Domingo Ochavillo and UCLA doctoral student Craig Shuman began testing MAQTRAC in Cebu and are now working in Palawan, Philippines. They are also working with marine aquarium fish and invertebrate collectors to directly measure the catch per unit effort and effects of various collection methods.
REEF CHECK GREETS THE NEW YEAR AT THE DATELINE IN FIJI
SEAMESTER STUDENTS IN ST. LUCIA PARTICIPATE IN REEF CHECK
Reef Check St. Lucia just completed the training of 23 students from the Seamester group, who visit the SMMA on their schooner Oceanstar twice a year. After the training the students conducted Reef Check surveys at the Coral Gardens and Malgretoute sites within the St Lucia Marine Management Area (SMMA). The training and the surveys were conducted on 31st October and 1st November 2001 respectively. Since their Reef Check experience, Seamester has expressed its interest in conducting more surveys during their trips through the Caribbean. Seamester will return to the SMMA with 19 students in March 2002 to conduct the next surveys. Reef Check and SMMA collaboration is an excellent example of how monitoring serves management and education.
PARTICIPATE IN FIELD COURSE, JAMAICA
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|Coral Reefs in the News|
LANDSAT 7 ALLOWS REEF WATCHERS TO DOCUMENT DEGRADATION
The global coral reef education, monitoring and management program.
The Reef Check Foundation