This year also saw the development of a Belize/Cuba project sponsored by the Oak Foundation. This program will provide funding to study approximately 30 Marine Protected Areas (MPAs). Through this funding, Reef Check hopes to train 40 people and conduct 30 surveys in Belize alone. For more information, check out the newspaper article from The San Pedro Sun.
BRITISH VIRGIN ISLANDS
Prior to Reef Check, two days were spent getting the divers comfortable with their surroundings working on fish identification and familiarizing them with the Reef Check protocol. At the end of the day the team relaxed on board, snorkeled and enjoyed a tranquil anchorage for the night. For more information on RC BVI or the Serendipity, contact Trish Baily or click here.
A diving team of eight individuals conducted the monitoring, which was focused in the Les Arcadins area of Haiti, situated along the west coast of Haiti. The area boasts three small islands which are surrounded by extensive coral reefs. Visual surveys of the sites revealed generally healthy reefs. For more detailed analysis, read the full report: Reef Check Training and Coral Reef Monitoring in Haiti: A Preliminary Report. For more information, contact Dulcie Linton.
This season acted as a ?pilot season? for the much larger scale operation of the 2004 season. As such, volunteer numbers and resources were limited and, due to logistical constraints, only a handful of sites (5) could be selected to represent the entire Marine Protected Area. It is hoped that Reef Check 2004 in the Cayos Cochinos will re-visit the same sites, as well as dramatically expand its range. For more information check out the Operation Wallacea website or contact Jon Shrives. Click here for the full report, including the survey results.
A total of 17 individuals participated in the training with Malden Miller of ICRAN, UNEP as the team leader and trainer. These trained individuals will form a core group of divers who will support future monitoring activities of the JCRMN. In partnership with rangers from the Negril Coral Reef Preservation Society (NCRPS) monitoring was conducted September 6-7. Three of the four NCRPS survey sites, Bloody Bay, Ireland Pen, and Little Bay were surveyed on Saturday and El Punto Negrilo on Sunday the 7th. For analysis of their data, read the full report on Jamaica Coral Reef Monitoring Network (JCRMN) Reef Check Training Workshop and Data Collection in the Negril Marine Park. For more information, contact Dulcie Linton.
US VIRGIN ISLANDS
We spent three days training and carrying out surveys. During this time we re-surveyed two sites and set up permanent transects at Votua village outside Mike?s Divers. This initial survey will be used as a baseline for further study both inside and outside a recently established Marine Protected Area at the village of Votua. The hope is to develop a guest participation programme for future surveys at both dive operations. Interested divers should contact Alex Hill or Phylis Jaureguy.
During the dives, buddy teams surveyed the lines together then combined their results. We were delighted to find many new hard coral colonies on both the sites surveyed. For more information on what they found, read the full report. For more information, contact Helen at Resort Support.
2003 RC activities, including two Earth Day events, were covered by magazines, TV stations, newsletters, newspapers, and radio stations. The development of the RC Network in Indonesia was presented and socialized at one national (COREMAP National Workshop) conference and two international events (the ITMEMS II, the Philippines and Reef Check Regional Training, Cebu, the Philippines).
The majority of Reef Check activities (53 sites) in Indonesia this year were funded by Reef Check International. The average grants available for each location, including the press conferences and media events were US$ 240 to US$ 290. Some activities were funded by individual institutions. The number of sites shows an increase of approximately 100% compared to the 2002 data, despite the lower amount of grant money provided by Reef Check Indonesia. This was achieved by widening the network and its support, through increasing the awareness and involvement of local stakeholders. There were a growing number of organisations and institutions conducting Reef Check in Indonesia and report directly to Reef Check International. As a result, Reef Check Network Indonesia (RCNI) decided to run as an independent entity starting this year. WWF Indonesia provided substantial support by hosting RCNI, and actively advising the process. For more information, contact Naneng.
The majority of the data collection took place from a locally owned boat, the Sama Bahari. Reef Check teams lived aboard the boat for 4-5 days, allowing many of the outer lying reefs to be surveyed. Close access to the reefs was achieved using a rubber dingy (volunteers initially found kitting up to be very challenging!). A big thanks to all the volunteers who participated in the 2003 season. We hope the 2004 season will be just as successful. Contact Jane Smith for more information.
It has been difficult to organize Reef Checks since the team does not receive financial support from any agency. Some local companies or administrations have helped RC by giving or lending materials. The financial problem could be solved by the creation of a local RC association, but many people don?t stay in Mayotte long enough to do so. Still, RC Mayotte is a success. After 2 years of activity, many people want to participate and local newspapers report on RC activities. For more information, contact Fany.
The annual Reef Check surveys of the Apo Island sanctuary have produced one of the few long-term data sets of this kind. Although extensive work has been done on the Apo Island fishery, no regular monitoring has been accomplished on substrate composition and the benthic community, and even fish data are usually collected intensively for short periods rather than annually for an extended period. Through such monitoring, we have been able to record and monitor responses to a major bleaching event, and quantify reef recovery over time. Click here to read Laurie Raymundo?s full report.
UNITED STATES- HAWAII
Some news for 2004
2. From March 16 ? 26, 2004 we are offering a 10-day Reef Check cruise and volunteer expedition to the reefs off Myanmar (Burma). We will be conducting surveys in the reefs of the Andaman sea for 10 days, departure is scheduled for March 16 from Ranong (Thailand). If weather conditions allow, we will be cruising up to the Mergui-archipelago.
If you are interested in joining either of these trips, please respond soon by e-mail. Space is limited, we will accept volunteers on a “first come, first serve” basis. Find more information about this trip and Reef Check 2001 and 2003 in Burma on http://www.reefcheck.de/en and http://marinasia.com
Thanks to the support of Blue Heaven Holidays, all Reef Check teams were based at Tondoba Bay, 14 km south of Marsa Alam, a newly developed bay and diving destination with upcoming, fast growing diving tourism. In all, 7 sites have been surveyed- five of them new sites never surveyed before and two sites that have been regularly surveyed since Reef Check 2001.
SHARM EL SHEIK, SINAI
|Coral Cay Conservation|
CORAL CAY CONSERVATION
CCC volunteers revisited 22 reef locations in the Mamanucas island group, Fiji to collect the third year of data assessing reef status in the region. A further 4 sites were surveyed for the first time. New locations were also surveyed at the other two CCC Indo-Pacific projects in the Perhentian Islands, Malaysia (3 sites) and Sogod Bay, Southern Leyte in the Philippines (4 sites). With the exception of the surveys in Fiji, all sites were surveyed at two depth bands.
In Honduras, CCC?s RC surveys were centered on the north shore of the island of Roatan, one of the three main Bay Islands. Twenty RC surveys were undertaken at shallow depths, with a further 22 at medium depths. For more information, contact Simon or Ryan.
The global coral reef education, monitoring and management program