Reef Check Update May 2000

Gregor Hodgson gregorh at
Wed May 31 12:00:11 EDT 2000

1. Dive In to Earth Day a HUGE success
2.RC Hawaii growing fast
3. Marine Aquarium Council Project Launched
4. UNEP East Asia Workshop endorses RC
5. Puerto Galera, Philippines Dive Association RC training
6. TV documentary in the works

1. Dive In Congrats

Congratulations and thanks to CORAL's Stephen Colwell and Anita Daley
for a hugely successful PR event for reefs, "Dive In to Earth Day."
Dozens of Reef Check coordinators around the world organised reef clean
ups, surveys, diving and educational activites in connection with Earth
Day. Please remember to send copies of your summary reports to Anita at
<divein at> so that they have a formal record of all the great

2. RC Hawaii May 1-5

A series of RC meetings and workshops was organised by Dave Raney
<d_raney at> on Oahu and Robin Newbold Robin Newbold
<Mauirobin at>on Maui. The Hawaii Coral Reef Network is very active
with regular monthly meetings and a variety of projects from mooring
buoys to Reef Check. At a meeting with Department of Aquatic Resources
personnel led by Director Bill Devick, strong support for RC was given.
DAR's Skippy Hau was present at the Maui workshop, while Dave Gulko
attended the Waikiki activity.

3. MAC Project May 2

The Marine Aquarium Council (MAC) has requested GCRMN/Reef Check to help
to design a monitoring system for reefs subjected to aquarium fish
harvesting. The protocols will be based on existing methods and will be
used to determine the effects of the trade on reefs. Contact Paul
Holthus <paul.holthus at>

4. UNEP East Asia May 9-11

The EAS/RCU's Dr. Hugh Kirkman and Yihang Jiang hosted a workshop in
Phuket to try to nail down a plan for regular, standardised reef
monitoring and data storage and processing. Representatives from
Thailand, Philippines, Vietnam, Cambodia, China, Indonesia, Malaysia,
Japan and the US strongly endorsed the concept of UNEP playing a key
role in coordinating coral reef monitoring and data management and the
use of Reef Check as the cost-effective starting point for this
process.  Hugh presented a summary to the ICRI Meeting in Noumea, 22-24
May, and we hope this will encourage the other UNEP RCUs to emulate this

5. Puerto Galera, Philippines Dive Association May 21-24

A UNESCO MAB Workshop provided an opportunity to present a Reef Check
training course to the PG Dive Operators Association who include all 27
dive shops in this lovely Biosphere Reserve. The Association will be
using Reef Check to keep tabs on their reefs, one of which was damaged
in the 1998 bleaching, and is now recovering rapidly. During the
workshop, the protectiveness of the operators was demonstrated when a
visiting US ichthyology expedition ignored mooring buoys and dropped
large anchors on the reef. The Cebu-based boatmen were surprised to have
their anchor line cut by a sharp knife. Lucky the scientists' Rotenone
was hung up in customs or more slicing might have gone on.

6. TV Documentary

A 13 part series for National Geographic TV is about to start filming in
the S. Pacific. The series will be based in part on board the Quiksilver
Expedition Indies Trader and will use Reef Check as a common thread.
Reef Check teams in the S. Pacific (PNG to Tahiti) who would like to be
featured in a segment, please contact Matthew Tomaszewski, Southern Star
Nova, Sydney, Australia
Ph. 61 (0)2 9202 8946 Fx. 61 (0)2 9955 8302
Email:  Matthew Tomaszewski <mtomaszewski at>

Gregor Hodgson, PhD
Coordinator, Reef Check Global Survey Program
GPO Box 12375, Hong Kong
Tel: (852) 2802-6937
Fax: (852) 2887-5454
Email: gregorh at

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