This June the seventh Reef Check Eco Diver Course (including all the surveys!) successfully took place at Red Sea Diving Safari, on the beautiful Red Sea coast of Egypt.
This time we were based at Marsa Nakari – a lovely small Eco-village south of Marsa Alam, which is much calmer than Marsa Shagra – where all the former courses were run.
So, we took it easy by doing some fun diving around the house reef and a few marvellous offshore reefs before and after the course and the surveys. Marsa Nakari has a fantastic house reef as well and many interesting dive sites in the vicinity such as Dolphin House, Habili Nakari, Shaab Marsa Alam or Shaab Nakari. It is also quite nearby the Wadi El-Gimal National Park and ranger Ahmed Shawky took us on a wonderful guided tour through “his” National Park!
All seven participants successfully completed the course which comprises four theory sessions, practical exercises, buoyancy practice, scientific methodology and species ID skills as well as eight training dives and of course the written tests. That’s quite a lot stuff to do on holiday, but really good fun was had by everyone! Especially with such a nice group of people, this time coming from Germany, Egypt, England and Austria.
Before we went into the water to practice the Reef Check methods along a transect line, we did it on land with all materials, the line, the slates (but with plastic fish instead of real ones, and one or two people pretending to be fish!) in a lesson called “beach exercise”. – have a look at the pics! 😉
After the course we were eager to start the surveys and collect both important and scientifically relevant data upon the health status and human impacts of the surveyed reefs.
We conducted five complete Reef Check surveys along two depth contours, one at 3,5m and another at 8,5m depth. Our chosen sites were at Marsa Nakari north, Marsa Nakari south, Marsa Assalai north, and Marsa Shagra north and south. All data have already been checked and accepted by Reef Check HQ and made their way into the international Reef Check database, which currently comprises 10600+ data sets as of July 2015.
A more detailed report from our collected data will follow.
Wait with bated breath for more photo reports here on this Facebook page about the stunning marine life of the reefs around Marsa Nakari, our trip to Wadi El-Gimal National Park and some nice pics from our fluorescence night dives!