December 21, 2016

Reef Check Carriacou Joins the Team

Matt WalshBy Nikole Ordway-Heath, Reef Check Florida Coordinator & EcoDiver Course Director

Reef Check Florida EcoDiver Course Director Nikole Ordway-Heath traveled down to Carriacou, Grenada in the Caribbean for a Reef Check EcoDiver & Instructor training in November, at the request of the dive professionals at Deefer Diving and Caribbean Reef Buddy. Both groups offer dive professional certification packages and wanted to add Reef Check training to their menu, so that these divers can help survey the reefs in Carriacou and hopefully other areas around the Caribbean, as well. They already have a great program in place for lionfish removal in the area but wanted to add coral reef surveys. Carriacou currently has an established MPA in place that even contains some coral nursery projects.

The staff at Deefer Diving does a lot of outreach to the community on Carriacou, teaching them the importance of their fishing practices and of the reef to their island. A lot of tourist divers also come in on their private sailing vessels, so the staff likes to educate them on best practices of anchoring and where the MPA is located around the island.

The training went very smoothly; the four students did a great job identifying the indicator species of fish and invertebrates and the impacts to the coral reef, and they excelled at substrate recording. There is no doubt they will continue their Reef Check surveys and hopefully be able to work with scientists and government officials to do more for the reefs around their island. Great work, Reef Check Carriacou!