Reef Check Teams in Action
Spotlight on Reef Check Site – Cambodia
Reef Check Champion – Georg Heiss
Methods Check – WRAS (Web Reef Advisory System)
Other Reef Check News
|Reef Check Teams in Action|
The expedition also enabled some eager surfers to get trained up in RC and help the scientists out. Students from the local primary school visited the boat and wrote essays on the Crossing. The students with the best essay won an original Tony Carrol's surfboard. The Crossing welcomed members of the government including Chief of the Fernando de Noronha Marine Park, Claudio Bellini, and the Chief of the Atol das Rocas Marine Park, Maurizelia Brito. From the Ministry of Environment, Daniela America, represented the Secretary of Biodiversity, that in Brazil is responsible for fulfilling commitments to the Convention of the Biodiversity. For more information, contact Beatrice.
|Spotlight on Reef Check Site- Cambodia
By Elsie Wong Lih Shiuan (KK3 Expedition leader) and Loh Tse-lynn (KK3 Scientific Officer)
Cambodia is located in Southeastern Asia, bordering the Gulf of Thailand between Thailand, Vietnam, and Laos. Due to high coastal turbidity, Cambodia's reefs are few and in high demand in world markets as they are reportedly one of Cambodia's main exports to neighboring Thailand. With the support of the Singapore International Foundation?s Youth Expedition Project (SIF YEP), RC Cambodia was established to help sustain Cambodia's fragile reefs. RC Cambodia is based at the National University of Singapore (NUS) and led by Elsie Wong Lih Shiuan. The team is made up of volunteers from all walks of life, including students, businesspeople, members of the local community, military personnel from the air force and marine police, all of whom are dedicated to conserving Cambodia's natural resources.
A three-staged marine conservation project in 2001 was developed to establish a marine park in the region to promote local ecotourism. The project would also train Fisheries Department Officers and provide public education for the community. The project was funded by the Singapore International Foundation (SIF) under the Youth Expedition Project (YEP). In 2003, RC Cambodia participated in the third and final phase of the project, Koh Kong III (KK3). This phase aimed to collect coral reef data from the Koh Sdach islands of Koh Kong province along Cambodia?s western coast. The objective of the expedition was to complete the assessment of the marine biodiversity of the reefs in the Koh Kong Province around the Koh Sdach group of islands, which had never been comprehensively surveyed before. The Tropical Marine Science Institute (TMSI) and the Department of Biological Sciences (DBS) at NUS also participated in the expedition and all data collected were analyzed and archived by the Marine Biology Laboratory of DBS. This information will be presented to the Cambodian government on the possibilities of having Koh Kong islands as a marine managed area.
The reefs surveyed of the outer islands of the Koh Sdach group all showed signs of anthropogenic impact, particularly from fishing activities. Nonetheless, fish life of the outer islands was found to be quite healthy, with parrotfish and popular target food fish such as groupers and snappers still present at many sites. Diadema setosum was the most common invertebrate while other invertebrate indicators were usually not spotted except for giant clams in a few sites. While there was no obvious industry for invertebrate tourist curio products, some of the edible target invertebrates such as sea cucumbers could have been harvested by the local fishermen.
Similarly to the sites surveyed during the first and second expeditions (KK1 and KK2) in 2001-2002, the fringing reefs are too shallow and lacking in megafaunal diversity to be major diving attractions. The Koh Sdach group of islands is situated on a shallow landmass of 20m depth that extends to almost 20km from the mainland. The presence of patch reefs or reefs beyond the island shelf is currently still unknown. However, the high percentage cover of live hard corals, the presence of attractive invertebrates such as cowries and nudibranchs, and the large schools of fish in some areas make diving a viable option for tourists in addition to other activities.
This expedition would not have been possible without the active participation and support of His Excellency Dr Touch Seang Tana, Undersecretary of State, Member of Economic, Social, Culture Observation Unit (OBSES); the Department of Fisheries; and the Koh Kong Provincial Governor?s Office of Cambodia. The project received additional funding from PADI Project Aware Foundation, Asia Pacific and the Singapore Lee Foundation. For more information about this project or any other RC Cambodia activities, please contact Elsie.
|Trainings, Workshops, and Meetings|
COASTAL AND MARINE MANAGEMENT MEETING
RC EGYPT & EUROPE EXPEDITIONS
Dahab & Sharm el Sheikh
REEF AWARENESS WEEK
|Reef Check Champion|
|This month we are highlighting Georg Heiss, coordinator for RC Europe. If you know a Reef Check Champion that you would like to be nominated, please email a brief description of their contribution as well as a photo (if possible) to Kelly.
Georg Heiss has been an invaluable member of the RC team since our beginnings in 1997. Georg started out as a team scientist and team leader for RC in Egypt. He has conducted surveys in the Red Sea since 1997. In 1998, he became the coordinator of RC Europe, as well as chairman of RC in Germany. He is currently active in project development and training in coral reef monitoring and management for RC.
Georg?s past activities have included co-ordination of international research programs, such as the Indonesian-German program for cooperation in Marine Sciences and Geosciences at the Center for Marine Tropical Ecology in Bremen, Germany. He has also worked on the analysis of international climate policy at the Advisory Council on Global Change to the German Government.
In addition to his work with RC, Georg is a carbonate geologist specializing in coral reef sedimentology with a strong integrative and interdisciplinary approach. He has conducted paleoclimatologic studies using corals in the recent past and the Holocene, as well as research programs in coral reef growth and the present human impacts on coral reefs of the Red Sea and the Indian Ocean. Georg has a strong interest in raising public awareness for environmental issues related to the marine environment and climate change.
Last month, Georg conducted the first training in East Africa which included 26 participants from from Kenya, Tanzania, Madagascar, Seychelles, Mauritius, and brought MPA officers, managers, National Park rangers, and boat operators together to be trained in RC methods. Look for information about this training in next quarter's newsletter.
RC would like to thank Georg for his continued dedication RC and his commitment to the conservation of coral reefs.
|Web Reef Advisory System (WRAS)
Reef Check is proud to announce that we are in the final stages of the development of the WRAS project. This project will create a web-based system that will enable teams to submit their Reef Check survey data directly to our global database as well as perform summary statistics and comparisons among reefs within the database. In addition, teams will be able to receive management recommendations based on their Reef Check survey results. Teaming up with a group from the Coastal Resource Center at the University of Rhode Island, we are in the process of creating a series of management responses to help teams protect their coastal resources. A team of experts from around the world will be attending a workshop at UCLA in early June to finalize the development of the system. Keep an eye out for updates on this exciting project.
|Other Reef Check News|
REEF RESCUE 2003
EARTH DAY AT UCLA
RC Cuba Training
GOOD NEWS FROM RC IRAN
REEF CHECK'S NEW WEBSITE
WE WANT TO KNOW WHAT YOUR TEAM IS UP TO!!
|Coral Reefs in the News|
CARIBBEAN CORAL REEFS DECIMATED
PEW OCEANS COMMISSION REPORT
GREAT FISH GOING THE WAY OF THE DINOSAURS
The global coral reef education, monitoring and management program.
The Reef Check Foundation