Reef Check Team Reports

reefchck at reefchck at
Sat Sep 12 00:23:13 EDT 1998

Reef Check Team Reports From Around the World - August 1998

In this report: Cayman Islands, Hong Kong, Bahrain, Bonaire, Hawaii,
Israel, PNG, Philippines, Tanzania, Japan, Columbia, Guam

Reef Check 98 in Cayman Islands - Carrie Manfrino Kievman

Our group of 12 divers completed Reef Check between July 1 and 4.  We were
fortunate to get enormous media coverage from the Cayman Islands
Television Network (CITN 27).  A brief report describing the plight of
coral reefs and the Reef Check project was aired numerous times and I was
interviewed on their Daybreak program.  

The reefs on Grand Cayman Island are under increasing stress for several
1. Tourism continues to grow and more hotels are being developed or
2. Dredging has just begun in the North Sound area which is fringed by a
now popular reef. As I was flying off the island a large plume of muddy
water was spilling toward the reef.  Several more permits to dredge have
been requested and were pending a decision when I left the islands in
3. There is talk in the legislature of changing some of the rules and
regulations that govern the marine parks to allow line fishing in areas
previously off limits.
4. Fisherman are using a new type of  fishpot that is placed very near the
fringing reef and that have a smaller  mesh sizes than traditional
Caymanian fishpots.  
5. More and more mangroves are being destroyed by developers.

Reef Check 98 in Hong Kong - Carmen Lee

WWF Hong Kong is the local coordinator for this year's Reef Check in Hong
Kong, and there are altogether 7 teams led by a group of enthusiastic
divers who wish to participate in this event .  A press conference was
held on 28 July 1998, which was well attended by media reporters.  The
kick-off launch for Reef Check was at the Coral Beach of Hoi Ha Wan on 8
August 1998, with the generous support from Ocean Sky Diving Co. Ltd.  The
other 6 Reef Check sites are Ping Chau, Moon Island (Hoi Ha Wan), Bluff
Island, Shelter Island, Nine Pins and Lemma, which will be surveyed this

Reef Check 98 in Bahrain - K. Roger Uwate

The Reef Check team in Bahrain has completed surveys on three different
coral reefs.  On Fasht Al Adhom, a shallow and a deep water site was
completed.  A new coral area was surveyed near Khwar Fasht (one survey).
In addition, on 7/8/98, two transects were completed on Abul Thama.  Abul
Thama is considered by sports divers as the best coral reef in Bahrain.
The two local English papers have already published stories on the Abul
Thama surveys.  In addition, plans are proceeding to produce a marine
conservation poster.  A local sponsor has agreed to fully support printing
costs.  The poster focuses on public participation in marine conservation
activities (including volunteers helping in Reef Check).  This poster
should be finished in a few weeks. It will be distributed primarily to the
various schools in Bahrain (when schools start next month).

Reef Check 98 in Bonaire  - Susie Westmacott

Bonaire Reef Check participants have already taken part in the Marine
Park's surveys in the past so we have a relatively experienced crew.  As
observers we are also including the newly qualified Bonaire Marine Park
scuba kids. They have been trained by the Marine Park and are keen to
become involved in our monitoring and survey work.

Reef Check 98 in Maui, - Carl M. Stepath
August 13 & 15, 1998 (A continued project of Clean Oceans '98)
Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale Sanctuary, Kihei
-Thur, Aug. 13; 6-8pm Coral Reef Ecology & Reef Check Preparations
-Saturday, Aug. 15 from 8-10am, Reef Check Coral Reef Monitoring
Welcome to this coral reef ecology workshop, and an opportunity to learn
about coral reef monitoring.  Divers and scientists at more than 300
locations around the world will examine coral reef health this summer.
The sponsoring organization on Maui and Kauai is Save Our Seas.
Professional and recreational divers, with knowledge of marine biology and
at least one professional marine scientist per team will monitor the reef
at Kalepolepo. Scientists will be on hand to give explanations and answer
questions, and validate the data.  This continues work at Kapalua Bay in
June on Maui, Anini in June on Kauai, Princeville in August on Kauai.  As
you probalbly know the first Reef Check in the world was held at
Princeville Kauai in June of 1997 at the Clean Oceans Conference.  We have
continued the project to the best of our ability.

Reef Check 98 in Israel - Zvika Livnat

Down here in Eilat, Israel, recently we received a confirmation for the
project science leader position from Dr Nanette E.Chadwick Furman, which
is wonderful for the project. she is a very respected scientist and an
expert on corals. This year all the volunteers for israel are marine
biologists and diving instructors. We like to keep it in a professional
level. we are still waiting for approval on budgets. (Ed. Note: Nan will
be coordinating with our other Israel teams led by Joe Breman).

Reef Check 98 in Papua New Guinea - Norman Quinn

Dr. Norman Quinn, University of Papua New Guinea, is coordinating the
efforts in Papua New Guinea. With the assistance of Dr. B.L. Kojis and
local university students reefs in Oro Province, off Kavieng, and in the
Central Province have been survey. Logistic assistance has been provided
by local dive centers. None of the reef surveyed have been severely
impacted by anthropogenic pollution. Subsistence fishing appears to be the
most important impact on the fish populations of the reefs.

Reef Check 98 in Frontier Tanzania - Damon Stanwell-Smith

The volunteers have been trained in ReefCheck techniques, using both
western and Tanzanian personnel.  The sites have been identified and will
be surveyed this week. In addition Jean-Luc has given a lecture/workshop
to the SCUBA club of Dar es Salaam, as they were interested in
participating in Reefcheck. Frontier has an ongoing marine research
programme in Southern Tanzania, we have recently surveyed reef areas with
as much as 70% coral bleaching. Detailed results are being collated,
together with monitoring of recovery and overgrowth.  We look forward to
seeing the results of both ReefCheck 97 and this year's stirling efforts.

Reef Check 98 in Japan  - Mariko Abe

Starting from Iriomote island (done by Underwater Creature Network),
Japanese teams have finished the reefcheck survey at 5 points so far.
Apart from Iriomote, Henoko (Okinawa mainland. by Love DugongNetowork),
Ishigaki island(by Coral Network), Tokashiki island (Diving Base Teera),
Miyake-jima(by Miyakejima sizen fureai tomonokai).  Last year the number
of participant groups was only two. However, over 10 groups will be finish
the survey by the end of September. We think it is a great progress &
ReefCheck 98' in Japan is going successfully so far.

Reef Check 98 in Colombia - Nohora Galvis

In Colombia, there is a lot activity related to REEF CHECK 98. Four events
are planned to be developed : one at the end of August (Corales del
Rosario) and three more in September (Santa Marta, San Andrés y Gorgona).
It would be interesting sharing information about a list of species for
the Eastern Pacific (Gorgona).

Reef Check 98 in Guam - Sandra Romano

Reef Check here went really well on Sunday. We had about 45 people who did
3 different sites. Everybody really got into it. I am working up the data
now and will get it off to you next week- there are a few loose ends to
tie up. It really is a good exercise for everyone- I think they have
really learned a lot.

Reef Check 98 in Palawan, Philippines - Sarah Curran

Survey sites for ReefCheck are Port Barton (mid west Palawan), Honda Bay
(Central) and Busuanga (northern Palawan).

We have conducted surveys at 4 sites in Port Barton and will conduct
surveys at Honda Bay and Busuanga this month. From visits to other sites
including Port barton, there is a massive amount of bleaching occuring. At
Port Barton, Honda bay and other areas in Mindoro we were finding sites
with 70% bleached hard coralincluding soft forms, and almost all anemones
are bleached . Water temperature is around 32 degrees even at 10 m.

Keith Kei
Assistant Coordinator 
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
web site:

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