|Categories||Communities, Corals, People|
|Date||15 Sep 2014|
The Maldives are in a process of transition from sustainable marine resources use in the 1980s, to one of significant growth of the tourism sector, increased fishing pressure, coral disease, and impacts of raised CO2 concentration in the atmosphere leading to increase in Sea Surface Temperature (SST). The government has requested further training in simple, effective and replicable reef monitoring techniques, and to provide increased opportunities to undertake research. This project will train local Maldivians on the collection of data that will feed into national monitoring targets and planning to implement new marine protected areas by 2017, and provide a platform from which to undertake bleaching recovery surveys.
Four Maldivians will be offered placements on a live-aboard research vessel. Selection of placement recipients will be competitive and applicants have to provide evidence of the use of the training in their jobs (i.e. how they will carry out their own Reef Check and reef surveillance work). Successful candidates will learn how to identify:
They will learn and practice how to undertake fully quantitative surveys, and be tested (underwater and in the classroom) in their ability to ID species, habitats and fish families. Using our well-established network, recruitment will concentrate on the tourism industry (generally private individuals, usually working in dive centres, or as dive centre marine biologists), or government officials, either from the Environment Protection Agency (EPA, which enforces MPAs), or the Marine Research Centre (MRC, which monitors the state of Maldives reefs and fisheries, and provides advice to government).
As part of the training and surveillance work in 2014, we will visit sites within the heavily populated and exploited North Male’ atoll, heavily impacted by the bleaching event of 1998. It is essential to re-visit reefs that were surveyed in 1997 by Reef Check to provide an indication of the recovery of reefs, and therefore the resilience of different reef areas to bleaching, and the ability of reefs to recover.
For further information contact: