February 21, 2008

SAUES Certifies EcoDivers in South Africa

Submitted by SAUES

Earlier this year in Southern Africa 12 volunteer divers qualified as Reef Check EcoAction Divers through the Southern African Underwater Ecology Society (SAUES). Reef Check divers learned all the theoretical knowledge of Reef Check target indicator species (coral reef substrate, invertebrate and fish identification) and then moved on to practical work in laying out transect lines in the pool; in short we practiced not getting ourselves and the ropes in a knot!

After the intensive training that took place on the East Rand, South Africa, teams traveled to Ponta D’ Ouro in Southern Mozambique for all practical training off one of Ponta’s most popular reefs, Doodles. All Reef Check qualified divers are excited to travel to Ponta D’ Ouro again at the end of February to officially complete our first ever (non-training) Reef Check research dive!!

SAUES’ Reef Check Trainer Kevin Payne has located and signed up a scientist that will work with SAUES on Reef Check in South Africa. They have also applied to KZN Wildlife for permits to conduct Reef Check surveys in the Marine Protected Areas (Kosi Bay, St Lucia, Sodwana, etc) and are currently waiting for the process to be approved.

For more information, please contact SAUES at saues@mweb.co.za