A joint survey organized by RC Indonesia and National Geographic Indonesia was conducted at P. Weh, Nanggroe Aceh from June 27th to 29th. This effort was carried out with the assistance of many local organizations and stakeholders such as Fauna and Flora International, University Unsyiah, Regional Planning Agency, Lumba-Lumba Diving Centre and the Sabang District Government.
The main goal of the survey was to establish long ranging effects to this reef system as a result of the recent tsunami. RCI also aimed to assist the P. Weh mission to promote their tourism efforts after the tsunami event.
Jan Manuputty from RCI trained and certified 12 new Reef Check survey team members as certified EcoDivers. These new EcoDivers joined previously trained Reef Check volunteers from Reef Check Indonesia 2007 to conduct Reef Check surveys at 4 locations in Aceh: Pantai Gapang, Pulau Rubiah, West Rubiah and Teupin Layeu, locations which were all affected by the tsunami. These surveys will initiate a continuous reef-monitoring program in Aceh and are critical to recording the status of the reefs, especially after such a large-scale disaster such as that of this past tsunami event.
“We have planned to work with local stakeholders to continue this effort. The Reef Check method is very simple and easy to be implemented by regular divers. Yet, the quality of the data is well acknowledged. Therefore the method would be a good tool in involving local divers to monitor the reefs in Weh Island, in particular the protected area,” states Joni from Flora and Fauna International.