[Coral-List] First Survey Results (Bastiaan Vermonden)

Bastiaan Vermonden bastiaan.vermonden at gmail.com
Sun Jan 22 15:48:43 EST 2012

Hi Catherine,

I limited my survey to only one question about how the respondent perceived
the quality of the dive site for this reason. We all have inflated
baselines although some more than others. The fact is that unless we happen
to be some of the incredibly priveleged few who can see a pristine reef
such as at the Northern Islands we will always have a inflated view. (if
the northern line islands are truly pristine!?) Not only that but there are
also human psychological traits which make it near impossible to make true
objective observations. Apparently humans after they have made a decision
to do something will then in their mind make all the data support that
decision. So if someone has gone diving somewhere they will convince
themselves that was the perfect spot to go diving.

I think that in general we should perceive the fact that divers consider
their diving experiences as good to very good as a positive thing. As long
as divers are willing to visit coral reefs and think the experience is good
they will be a potential economic resource that can be used to better
protect coral reefs through for example marine park fees.

Finally ignorance is bliss, when you don't know what you are missing you
don't miss it!


On 20 January 2012 20:00, Katherine McLean <kmclean at lakeheadu.ca> wrote:

> Bastiaan,
> It is also important to keep in mind that the baseline from which
> individuals gauge whether a reef is in "good shape" or not will vary
> considerably. While many of us are aware that very few reefs are in
> what would historically be considered "good shape", as someone who has
> only dived in the Caribbean for the past 10 years my response is
> relative to this experience. As I reflect on the response that I gave
> I realize now that it perhaps should have been lower, but at the time
> what was going through my mind was, "well I know that this location is
> about as good as it gets for the region", and so the value is
> inflated.
> Message: 1
> Date: Fri, 20 Jan 2012 11:27:23 +0100
> From: Bastiaan Vermonden <bastiaan.vermonden at gmail.com>
> Subject: [Coral-List] First survey results
> To: coral-list at coral.aoml.noaa.gov
> Message-ID:
>       <CAPMqHLy+D6CLAAvYuP_hZysRMz_s0pU6s4aa7zONx7RAL2vVUg at mail.gmail.com>
> Content-Type: text/plain; charset=ISO-8859-1
> Dear coral listers,
> First I would like to thank all the coral listers who (already) contributed
> a survey, thank you! Right now I have 115 surveys. I was wondering whether
> some people might be interested in the inititial results. If you send me an
> email I will be happy to provide the data I have right now.
> One interesting result I found is that while we talk about the coral reef
> crisis nearly all divers still consider the diving destinations in good
> shape. On a range of 1 to 5 with 1 being the worst and 5 being the best the
> average rating divers gave for diving destinations was 4.28. Of course the
> survey data is not random and it could be that right now I am attracting
> the biggest optimists but I still think it raises some interesting
> questions. Also not every destination had coral reefs but definitely the
> majority.
> If you would still like to contribute a survey or you know someone who
> would like to then you can find my survey here.
> https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/viewform?formkey=dFVTMENIbWhSanNxRVJQaS1vSUgxbXc6MQ
> Regards,
> Bastiaan Vermonden
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