Reef Check 2018 at Red Sea Diving Safari

In 2018 we´re in the tenth year of our Reef Check monitoring program, that Red Sea Diving Safari (RSDS) and Reef Check Team Scientist Stephan Moldzio started in 2009 to conduct regular surveys at the most important dive sites of RSDS.
This year we had a full program with two EcoDiver Courses along with two EcoDiver Trainer courses and five full Surveys, each along two depth contours, at Marsa Egla, Marsa Nakari North & South, Wadi Lahami “Torfa” exposed & sheltered.
Nine new Reef Check EcoDivers were successfully certified as well as three new EcoDiver Trainers.
Congratulations to new EcoDivers Katrin Ester, Rainer Hoinka, Èric Jordà Molina, Abdallah Abdelhamid, Abdelrahman Mohssen, Ahmed Galal , Ayman Nasr, Khaled Mohammed Amin, Mahmoud Saber Ahmed Abdelhafez, and new EcoDiver Trainers Elke Tinhofer, Gottfried Tinhofer and Dr. Ahmed M. Shawky.
Thank you all for your participation! 🙂
Many thanks to Red Sea Diving Safari, who has been sponsoring these activities for the last 10 years. It is really exceptional, that a dive operator runs its own long-term reef monitoring program and this shows that RSDS truly cares for the environment. Thank you for all the support of your great team! 🙂
As a pioneer of sustainable tourism in Egypt, Red Sea Diving Safari has implemented an extensive environmental policy for many years, promotes ecofriendly practices, supports various initiatives, educates their guests and just recently installed a photovoltaic plant to switch to renewable energies step by step.

 

First stop: Marsa Shagra

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Reef Check Eco Diver Course & Surveys

Reef Check Eco Diver Course at Red Sea Diving Safari, Egypt, July 2018

How about the next diving holiday …

… to participate in reef investigations and to collect scientific data? Exploring the diversity and relationships in the coral reef and helping to protect the coral reefs?

In July 2018, for the 10th year now, a “REEF CHECK Ecodiving Course and Surveys” will take place again from 10.-13.7.2018 in Marsa Shagra / Red Sea Diving Safari. After the course there are 5 surveys scheduled around Marsa Shagra, Marsa Nakari and Wadi Lahami. During the 4-day course, participants will learn and practice the Reef Check methodology, in order to collect important data about the health status of the coral reefs. During the Surveys we record the abundance of certain indicator groups of fish, invertebrates, substrate and human impacts along a 100m transect line. The Reef Check method was especially created to collect robust data and to track the manifold human impacts with a standardized method which can be used in all reef areas throughout the world. We will deal with the factors of the coral reef crisis and how becoming active.
The training dives and diving during the surveys is free, as Red Sea Diving Safari is an official sponsor of Reef Check.
After the course and the first survey on 14.7. we continue to Marsa Nakari, two more surveys are on the program here. In addition of course, fun diving at great dive sites, AND another highlight – the marine biologist, ranger / field researcher from Wadi El Gemal National Park, Ahmed M. Shawky will offer exclusively for us the new PADI Dugong Conservation specialty course!
Afterwards we move on to Wadi Lahami to enjoy the remote and unique reefs in the southern part of the Egyptian Red Sea. Here, two more surveys are on the program.

A special experience for anyone who wants to learn more about the coral reefs, to be active on holiday and would like to do something useful for our environment! Book now at Fish & Trips, Aqua Active Agency and Belugareisen.

Click here for the report of our last REEF CHECK activities in May 2017.

 

International Year of the Reef 2018

The International Coral Reef Initiative (ICRI) declared 2018 as the third International Year of the Reef and encourages to:
  • Strengthen awareness globally about the value of, and threats to, coral reefs and associated ecosystems;
  • Promote partnerships between governments, the private sector, academia and civil society on the management of coral reefs;
  • Identify and implement effective management strategies for conservation, increased resiliency and sustainable use of these ecosystems and promoting best practices; and
  • Share information on best practices in relation to sustainable coral reef management.
  • ICRI encourages its members to support and participate in planning for IYOR 2018, and to facilitate the development of national level IYOR activities.

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MANGROVES OF YAP

A view from space on Yap shows a green island with dense forests. Yap is not a volcanic island, but part of the largely submerged oceanic Philippine plate (whereas actually most of the Philippines do not belong to this tectonic plate). In the east, the Pacific plate is partially subducting below this plate, forming the Yap trench with more than 8500m depth. Yap Island is surrounded by a 1-2km broad fringing reef, that is interrupted by several channels and inside there are highly structurated lagoons and bays. Along the coastline there are extensive mangrove forests. During our Marine Biology Weeks we explored several Mangrove sites, which can be seen in the map:

  • German Channel
  • Channel Maap – Rumung
  • Chamorro bay
  • O´Keefes´Island
  • Mangroves at Mii´l lagoon
  • Mangroves at Tamil

Ecological role & nutrient cycles

Considered by some as useless and unaccessable swamp full of mosquitoes – in fact the mangroves present a fascinating and important ecosystem , and within it is teeming with life. Building a bridge between land and the sea, mangroves serve as a nursery for reef fish, haven for small marine life and habitat for a peculiar community.

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Marine Biology Weeks at Mantaray Bay Resort

***Great first MARINE BIOLOGY WEEKS at Manta Ray Bay Resort !***

Three different Workshops were successfully conducted in course of the first MARINE BIOLOGY WEEKS at Manta Ray Bay Resort in Yap/Micronesia: One 3-day Marine Biology Workshop “basic”, a 2-day Coral-ID Workshop and a 2-day Marine Biology Workshop “advanced”.

MARINE BIOLOGY WORKSHOP “basic”
During the 3-day Marine Biology Workshop “basic” we started with fishes, how to identify the families, their characteristics and we dealt with their ecological role. We worked with a reef illustration and “plastic fishes” and also used a species list from FishBase, that includes 1070 fish species of Micronesia. Next day´s topic was coral reef ecology, the importance of coral reefs as centers of biodiversity, the overwhelming variety of different lifeforms and their manifold interrelations, as well as the today´s human threats to the reefs by climate change, overfishing, pollution and more.

Coral reefs play a fundamental role for humanity, not only in view of food production, coastal protection, livelihoods, but also as unique and fascinating habitats that have to be preserved. During our dives we collected samples of sand, reef rock and plankton and investigated them under stereomicroscopes. Wow! – even the sand represents a fascinating microcosm, with stunning organisms whose habitat is firstly determined by currents, sedimentation and therefore by the grain size of sand – and of course by food supply. This is where the mangroves and sea grass beds come into play which provide a continuous supply of organic matter…

 

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(Deutsch) “An improved approach investigating epithelial ion transport in scleractinian corals“

– now published in “Limnology and Oceanopgraphy: Methods”, Vol.15, Issue 9, September 2017.

In this paper, the active and passive ion transport through the aboral epithelium (the tissue where the coral skeleton is formed) in the living coral was investigated with a sophisticated experimental setup. The exact mechanism of calcification has not been fully explored, so far!

The coral cultivation facility for the experiments was planned by GREEN CORALS and was intsalled in May / July 2013 at GEOMAR in Kiel.
Hereinafter, the two tanks have developed very well, thanks to the good care of Dr. Isabelle Taubner and Dr. Florian Böhm. The corals have grown strongly and the planned experiments have been successful!

Below a few photos of the main reef aquarium and of the experimental tank of May 2017.

(Photos: © Dr. Florian Böhm):

Here you get to our Photoreport about the construction of the facility in 2013.
Click here for the article: