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.

Continue reading MANGROVES OF YAP

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”.

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…


Continue reading Marine Biology Weeks at Mantaray Bay Resort

(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:


These two sheets show some common reef fish occurring at various dive sites of Red Sea Diving Safari, notably the house reefs of Marsa Shagra Village, Marsa Nakari Village and Wadi Lahami Village. The sheets were created for a special occasion: In September, a large group of Dutch guests celebrated a 40-year wedding anniversary in Marsa Shagra. Each guest received these laminated sheets and was immediately ready for Fish ID in the water…
The species sheets were a big hit, definitely really useful and being used a lot.” Sarah O´Gorman, Executive Marketing Manager of Red Sea Diving Safari, summarized.
During our dives and surveys since 2005 along the beautiful reefs of the south Egyptian Red Sea coast, Marine Biology Workshops documented a total of 277 fish species out of 62 families by photograph so far. The FishBase Project (10/2017) lists a total of 490 reef associated fishes for Egypt.

Common Reef Fishes of the Red Sea (click to enlarge)


REEF CHECK Surveys Red Sea Diving Safari 2017

REEF CHECK Surveys Red Sea Diving Safari 2017

Some impressions from our REEF CHECK Reef Monitoring Program with Red Sea Diving Safari in may 2017 at Marsa Nakari. (Sorry for the delay! 🙁 )

As usual – in 2018 we´re in the tenth year now –  we conducted 5 surveys at the reefs of Marsa Shagra north & south, Sharm Abu Dabab, Shaab Nakari and Abu Nawas Garden. The latter two were new sites introduced to our monitoring schedule.

Thanks to Elke, Gottfried and Ahmed for your participation and thanks to Red Sea Diving Safari for your great support, as usual!


Want to learn more about coral reef ecology with a focus on the human impacts and the today´s threats to coral reefs and become a certified REEF CHECK Eco Diver?

Then you should join the next REEF CHECK Eco Diver course at Marsa Shagra from 10th to 13th july, as well as the subsequent surveys! After this we will move along the other two villages of Red Sea Diving Safari, Marsa Nakari and finally Wadi Lahami, enjoying the pristine reefs in the southern part of the Egyptian red sea coast.  Another great highlight – our long-time friend, marine biologist, PADI MI and ranger/environmental researcher of the Wadi El Gemal National Park, Ahmed M. Shawky will conduct an exclusive Dugong-Special for us!

We have a special boot show special 20% off the course fee, valid until 28th February!
In addition to that, Red Sea Diving Safari has a 10% discount on the complete package (transfer, unlimited diving, accommodation).
Then, the scheduled trainings dives during the course as weel as during the surveys is FREE, as Red Sea Diving Safari is an official sponsor of REEF CHECK.
So book your dive trip NOW, either directly at Red Sea Diving Safari or at one of their partner tour operators, e.g. Fish&Trips, Belugareisen, AquaActiveAgency or AquaMountain Travel !

Meet REEF CHECK at boot show at the “Love your ocean” stand (hall4, C02-C06) and at the Red Sea stand (hall3, A90).
See you this summer 🙂


Check out the UW pics from last may around the beautiful reef around Marsa Nakari and Marsa Shagra:

Offshore reefs around Marsa Nakari

Marsa Nakari 2017

Dugong – VIDEO