July 28, 2009

Reunion Alumni Complete Third Aruba Reef Check

by Reef Check EcoDiver Trainer James Rosborough

Alumni from the International School in Aruba completed a Reef Check survey as part of their reunion in June. Five divers ranging from graduating classes in 1967 to 1953 along with the current Science Teacher, participated in the survey on a reef they used to spear fish on as many as 55 years ago. They recall a forest of staghorn, elkhorn and brain coral, and so many fish they could spear two with one shot. The branching coral has disappeared due to disease and storms, but most of the residual star coral is alive and healthy. It is suspected that commercial fishes and lobsters are few due to the demand from the growing tourist industry. We were all happy to be back home in OUR waters and eager to keep track of the health of the reefs. This is the third reunion over 9 years that has completed surveys. We planted permanent markers to follow this reef over time and will be back again in three years.