reefchck at ust.hk
reefchck at ust.hk
Mon Jun 22 01:54:06 EDT 1998
Dear all coral-listers,
Here is the June Update for Reef Check 98.
Reef Check Update - June 22, 1998
We have lots of good news about Reef Check 1998, the second annual global survey of
coral reefs. If you are not familiar with Reef Check or participated last year and would
like to help out again, please see our website: www.ust.hk/~webrc/ReefCheck/reef.html
The global results for 1997 were stunning, and the value of the data will increase with
each year added.
1. Funding for National Coordinators
We are very grateful to the Rockefeller Brother's Fund for providing significant funding
for Reef Check 1998 in East Asia. In addition we have pledges of support from
UNESCO, UNEP and private foundations for modest support for other regions in 1998-9.
If you are a marine scientist or NGO staffer living or working in a developing country
where we do not have a national coordinator and you would like to form a Reef Check
team, we may be able to provide start-up funds and scientific training. Please read the
website to check our list of coordinators and then email us for instructions at
<reefchck at ust.hk>
2. New Countries Added
Our 1998 roster continues to expand with new countries and territories such as the US
Virgin Islands, Cambodia, Thailand, China, Sri Lanka, Jordan, Bangladesh among those
recently signing on. We need more volunteers from the Caribbean and Africa.
3. GCRMN / Reef Check / Reef Base Summit at the Hawaii Monitoring Workshop
The US state of Hawaii has finally decided to set up a coral reef monitoring and
management program. As a first step, Jim Maragos coordinated an impressive coral reef
monitoring workshop at the East-West Center in Honolulu 9-11 June. There was ample
opportunity for participants to review and evaluate many alternative monitoring methods
including Reef Check. Of the many discussions that appeared to achieve resolution, two
are relevant here: A) In addition to academic scientific research, two types of monitoring
are needed - high intensity, detailed taxonomic monitoring at selected sites by
government agencies, and lower intensity, "community-based" monitoring at many sites
using teams of skin divers, recreational scuba divers and scientists. B) Community-based
monitoring, as part of a coastal management plan provides a solution to coral reef
problems by building up a sense of stewardship in the community. C) It was agreed that
Reef Check methods were suitable for volunteers to use in Hawaii.
During the workshop, meetings were held to solidify the already strong relationships
among Reef Check, GCRMN and Reef Base. In short, the previous agreement that
GCRMN would promote Reef Check as the GCRMN community-based monitoring
method in all countries was reaffirmed. In addition, in countries where there is already a
sufficient capacity to plan and carry out government level monitoring, Reef Check has
agreed to promote a second, more intensive set of methods recommended for use by
government and academic teams, based in part on the English et al. Survey Manual for
Tropical Marine Resources, but also including other methods as needed. For both
protocols, a core set would be recommended for use in all countries with each country
and locale adding whatever additional methods were needed. Finally, the decision to
supply all Reef Check data to Reef Base was reaffirmed.
The clear message from Hawaii is that scientists and managers alike are in no mood for
silly arguments about methods. Collaboration, compromise and getting people into the
water now are the order of the day.
4. Reef Check Hawaii and Clean Oceans 98
Some of you will recall that in 1997, Reef Check was kicked off in spectacular fashion on
the island of Kauai by the environmental group Save Our Seas. This year, from June 11
to 13, Carl Stepath and his wife Teresa put on another Save Our Seas/Reef Check
extravaganza, this time on Maui. On the night of 12 June, the Clean Oceans 98
underwater film festival was attended by hundreds, including renowned Maui marine
artist Christian Lassen who has brought humpbacked whales and coral reefs into many
living rooms around the world. Saturday morning, Carl organized a dawn patrol Reef
Check field training at Kapalua Bay and over 25 team leaders and divers attended. Thank
you Carl (and Frannie of Maui Community College) for motivating such a good group to
take part. At last word, Carl and daughter Sonrisa were planning a full-scale Reef Check
attack on at least six of the lower Hawaiian Islands. Alan Fong, Jeff Kuwabara and John
Cullinane of Hanauma Bay Marine Park volunteered to get Reef Check started on Oahu.
Jim Maragos helped with a much needed review and revision of the Reef Check indicator
organisms appropriate for Hawaii.
5. Global Warming 9, Hong Kong
Despite a massive downpour that turned HK's streets into rivers, a Reef Check
presentation and poster on 9 June at the GW9 Conference at HKUST were well attended.
As many will remember, last January, Bob Buddemeier et al. concluded that the biggest
threat to coral reefs from global change is a rise in atmospheric CO2 that will, through a
complex series of reactions, lead to reduced calcification by reef corals. Taking these
conclusions to heart, the question was asked as to how we would detect a global change
in coral reefs if there is no global network of monitoring? The presentations suggested
that the Reef Check network provides a platform to monitor such changes, and the
addition of special methods to detect such changes could be accommodated as required.
6. Meeting reminders:
All team scientists are invited to make regional, national or local scale presentations of
Reef Check results at the ISRS meeting in Perpignan, France this September 1998 and to
participate in the ITMEMS Workshop in Townsville, Australia - November 1998. If
there is sufficient demand, a free Reef Check training session will be held at both venues.
7. New Assistant Coordinator in Hong Kong
Suzie Geermans, our energetic and multi-talented assistant has decided to return to her
native Australia for personal reasons. We wish her and partner John good luck. The new
Assistant Coordinator is Keith Kei, a diving instructor with a Master's degree in marine
biology. The Reef Check email address remains unchanged at <reefchck at ust.hk>.
8. 1998 Methods and Deadline Reminder
1998 data sets are already flowing into headquarters. We remind all 1997 teams to
download the revised 1998 methods and spreadsheets. All teams need to register to
participate. Please send us the data ASAP once the survey is finished to avoid QA/QC
problems. Remember that the deadline for fieldwork is 30 September, 1998.
Please send us brief reports now of your planned and completed Reef Check activities
(training, surveys, press reports etc) for inclusion in our next update in July.
Institute for Environment and Sustainable Development
Applied Technology Centre
Hong Kong University of Science and Technology
Clearwater Bay Kowloon HONG KONG
Tel: (852) 2358-6936
Fax: (852) 2358-1334
e-mail: reefchck at ust.hk
web site: http://www.ust.hk/~webrc/ReefCheck/reef.html
More information about the Coral-list-old