August 27, 2009

Reef Check Mayotte Wraps Up 2009 Survey Season

By Reef Check Mayotte Coordinator Julien Wickel

Reef Check Mayotte’s 2009 survey season has just ended. The diving centres Majiclub, Rêve bleu, and Mayotte Lagoon have been assessing four Reef Check sites since 2002.

Early assessments were undertaken on a voluntary basis by clients of these dive centres. While awareness of young residents of the island was one of the primary objectives of Reef Check, little had been done in Mayotte to engage them.

Reef Check Mayotte coordinators Julien Wickel (Lagonia) and Alban Jamon (Apnee Mayotte) wanted to change this. With funding from the Forestry and Agriculture Office, the National Agency on Marine Protected Areas, and Crédit Agricole bank, the main objective of this year’s Reef Check operation became training of young people of the island as divers and educating them in the field of marine ecology. The goal of such training was to make sure they were able to perform Reef Check assessments on their own.

The 2009 Reef Check operation was a great success with 15 young volunteers trained to do coral reef assessments. These participants are also contributing to inform other young people on the importance of coral reefs and their conservation around the island; and several of them would like to continue their education in marine biology and ecology.

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