Reef Check Teams in Action
Spotlight on Reef Check Site – Egypt
Reef Check Champions – UN Awards
Methods Check – Rock vs. Dead Coral
Other Reef Check News
|Reef Check Teams in Action
In May of this year, the Regional Workshop of the International Coral Reef Initiative (ICRI) for the Tropical Americas, was held in Cancun. Both Rosa and Fafou participated in the event and spoke about their involvement with RC. Given the excellent new system of marine protected areas in Mexico, we looks forward to seeing RC being used to demonstrate management success in these parks. For more information about RC Mexico contact Rosa and Fafou.
|Spotlight on Reef Check Site- Egypt
The Red Sea spans a distance of over 1000 miles, joining the Indian Ocean with the Mediterranean Sea and providing exquisite coastline for eight countries. Comprised of mainly fringing reefs, this region is known for its rich diversity and beautiful colors. Divers from around the globe travel to the Red Sea to experience this unique underwater world.
RC Egypt got off to a spectacular start in 1997 when Moshira Hassan and Gert Woerheide led over forty surveys throughout the Egyptian Red Sea, involving more than 200 tourist volunteers and 13 scientists from Australia, Germany, Egypt, Netherlands, UK and Egypt. Since then, Moshira Hassan and Georg Heiss, co-coordinators of RC Europe (Germany) have continued to coordinate RC in the Red Sea.
2002 continues to be another great year for RC Egypt. RC has been adopted as a standard survey protocol by a number of local scientific groups. Dr. Mohammed Kotb, of the University of Ismailia, has used RC to train rangers at the Egyptian Environmental Affairs Agency and the Park Authority in Egypt. There are plans to train students at the Suez Canal University in Ismailia and at the American University in Cairo in RC methods. RC will be included in the curriculum to engage students in field surveys.
In June of this year, RC Egypt partnered with PERSGA (The Regional Organization for the Conservation of the Environment for the Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden) to conduct an expedition of eight sites in the Sinai Peninsula in Egypt. Reef Check Europe and Sinai Divers organized the trip which involved a core team of 5 enthusiastic volunteers from Germany and England as well as a group of local volunteers. Two of the volunteers were RC veterans, having participated as RC Egypt volunteers in 1997 and 2001. This program was especially significant because it was the first time that the whole Red Sea was surveyed according to the same standard method giving a regional snapshot of reef health.
The expedition included revisiting many of the sites that were surveyed in 1997, 2000 and 2001 including Sharm el Sheikh and Ras Mohammed National Park. The team also the surveyed reefs off Dahab, 80 km north of Sharm el Sheikh, with a group of local volunteers. A Crown-of-thorns outbreak, which has destroyed many of the reefs of the area, was observed first hand by the team where several large dead Acropora tables recently killed by the starfish were found in deeper waters.
Overall, the team was happy to report that Southern Sinai reefs are in very good condition. It was noted, however, that in areas where diving pressure and urban development were high, reefs were visibly degraded. Where diving activities are regulated, such as in the National Park, reefs were found to be in much better shape where “no take? regulations and visitor education programs have been established. RC Egypt would like to send a special thanks to Ghazala Hotel, photographer, Francisco Jos? Cueto Bercian and all of the volunteers who helped make this expedition a success.
RC Europe, RC Egypt and Blue Heaven Holidays have organized additional surveys in Masrsa Alam, Egypt, September 1-14. Look for an update on this trip in the next issue of The Transect Line. For more information on how you can participate in future expeditions, contact Moshira.
|Trainings, Workshops, and Meetings
WORLD SUMMIT ON SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT
INTERNATIONAL SOCIETY FOR REEF STUDIES
NATIONAL ACADEMY OF SCIENCE
CORAL REEF TASK FORCE
CEA MEMBERS DAY
CARIBBEAN CORAL REEF CONFERENCE
|Reef Check Champions
This month we are highlighting those RC representatives who were recently awarded grants from the United National Environment Programme East Asian Seas Regional Co-ordinating Unit (UNEP EAS/RCU). 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.
Andre Uychiaoco – Marine Science Institute, Univ. Philippines
This project will bring the Biodiversity Monitoring System of the Philippines? National Integrated Protected Areas System (NIPAS) into compatibility with more mainstream GCRMN and Reef Check reef monitoring systems. The project will organize and disseminate NIPAS coral reef data to provide easy access to managers and trouble-free reporting to national (PhilReefs) and international (ReefBase) databanks. NIPAS will integrate reef monitoring and evaluation into a regular, multi-sectoral/participatory, and adaptive management (decision-making) activity. This project will also provide the opportunity to validate and upgrade the skills of NIPAS field personnel and collaboratively monitor 3 high priority NIPAS sites.
Nguyen Van Long – Institute of Oceanography, Viet Nam
While monitoring activities of coral reefs have been established for seven sites since 1998, they do not cover an adequate area to provide enough data and information for widespread coral reef management in Vietnam. This project will focus on coral reef areas that do not have established monitoring sites. This project will establish two new sites for coral reef monitoring at Nam Du and Tho Chu islands as well as a training workshop for local communities on coral reef monitoring at Phu Quoc islands, Kien Giang province. The project will provide information on the status of coral reefs in south-west waters of Vietnam (Gulf of Thailand) and promote awareness in local communities on marine conservation on a provincial level. The mechanisms to maintain long-term monitoring of coral reefs will be in the framework of the project.
Abigail Moore – Yayasan Adi Citra Lestari (YACL) Indonesia
YACL carried out a programme to train a local team in SCUBA and coral reef survey/monitoring in 2001/2002 with major support from The David & Lucille Packard Foundation, UNEP EAS/RCU and a contribution from PADI Project AWARE. This team now has the equipment and skills to carry out coral reef surveys and monitoring activities using Reef Check and Manta-Tow methodologies. YACL will continue to increase the capacity of it?s survey team through the further training of existing members and recruiting/training additional members. The existing and additional capacity will be used to carry out survey and monitoring activities at previous and new sites. The project will give priority to survey sites where management programmes exist or are in preparation, especially MPAs or proposed MPAs. In order to demonstrate the usefulness of survey/monitoring data to communities and decision-makers alike, YACL intends to implement a pilot project at the Pulau Pasoso MPA site, for which YACL now has substantial data and stakeholder support. For more information, contact Abigail.
Ketut Sarjana Putra, Reef Check Indonesia and Wisnu Widjatmoko, Diponegoro University, Indonesia
The Reef Check Karimunjawa 2002 program is part of the Reef Check Indonesia program. This program focuses on reef monitoring in Karimunjawa National Park by involving general public (volunteers), local community, local government and NGOs. This program has three main activities: Training of Trainers (ToT), Field Data Collection (monitoring), and a Campaign and Socioecomic survey. This program will monitor coral reef condition in Karimunjawa and carry out the information to be used by local government and National Park Authority for creating decisions and implementing rules and policy for the management of the Park. For more information, contact Ketut.
WHY IS THERE NO OLD DEAD CORAL CATEGORY IN RC?
Reef Check was designed for volunteers to actively manage coral reefs rather then as an academic survey that a coral reef ecologist or geologist would perform. Reef Check's goal is intended to alert managers to take action based on survey results. Changing levels of indicator organisms or substrate signify impacts of the reef (both positive and negative) and overall reef health.
Reef Check combines non-living, hard substrate into two categories: Recently Killed Coral (RKC) and Rock (RC). The RKC category is only coral killed in the past years, which is an important indicator of negative impacts. The RC category includes true rock and coral that has been dead for over a year, which can be distinguished from RKC in that it is usually covered with algae and other encrusting material and has lost any skeleton characterizations. Making the distinction between the two categories allows managers to monitor how much coral is actually dying.
|Other Reef Check News
RC PHILIPPINES RECEIVES GRANT
Special thanks goes to RC Fiji co-coordinator Helen Sykes, L'Aventure Cousteau Divers, resort guest Hamilton Rowan (for his enthusiasm!), and the Resort Marine Biologist Mike Greenfelder for persistence in setting dates at a busy time. For information on participating in future RC activities at the resort, contact Dive Operations Manager Gary Alford.
JOIN REEF CHECK!
|Coral Reefs in the News
The global coral reef education, monitoring and management program.