Reef Check EcoDiver course & surveys 2021 at Marsa Shagra
From 5th to 12th august 2021, another Reef Check course with subsequent reef surveys took place again as part of our reef monitoring program at Red Sea Diving Safari (RSDS).
Like last time we were located in Marsa Shagra again.
In 2020 the Reef Check activities unfortunately had to be cancelled due to a certain nasty little virus….
But this year there were almost no obstacles in our way (except some not worth mentioning travel formalities) and so the first course and surveys since 2019 was unstoppable !
Who could, was vaccinated and tested anyway, RSDS had implemented an appropriate hygiene concept, the entire staff had already been vaccinated in spring.
Our dynamic survey team of seven participants came from Egypt, Austria, Czech Republic and Germany, ranging in age from 10 to 64 years. Some of them had been regularly participating in the surveys for many years. Quickly they all got to know each other during the EcoDiver course and formed alternating buddy teams later on for the surveys.
The EcoDiver course pays special attention to human impacts on the reef: overfishing, mechanical damage, overfertilization, pollution and trash, as well as coral bleaching or coral diseases and also indication of possible imbalances within the ecosystem. For the four course participants, this approach was new – as recreational divers, they had previously paid their attention especially to (large) fish, or conspicuous corals and invertebrates, and not so much to “how the corals are doing”, details in the substrate cover, feeding scars, algae & sponges, fishing lines or coral damage by divers or boats. You can say the “underwater perception” changes through the course.