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Reef Check EcoDive program

By Leonard Ho - Posted Mar 30, 2011 08:00 AM
Baros Maldives issued a press release that caught my attention. Their press release opens: "Baros Maldives has been awarded EcoDive Centre status by the official Reef Check organization, and is the first resort in the Maldives to offer the international Reef Check EcoDiver programme, which empowers people to save our reefs and oceans. Becoming the first EcoDive and training centre of the Maldives, Baros now offers guests EcoDiver courses which qualifies them to help EcoDive teams to monitor reefs worldwide." So I delved deeper into the EcoDiver program.

So what is the EcoDiver program?

EcoDiver is an unique Reef Check program designed to expand the monitoring of reefs by leveraging recreational divers as monitors.  Reef Check is an international non-profit organization dedicated to conservation of two ecosystems: tropical coral reefs and California rocky reefs.

To become a certified EcoDiver, potential applicants must take the 3-day EcoDiver certification course and pass a PowerPoint ID test (80%) and field test (90% to pass) to obtain a regional certification card (different regions have different tests, likely due to different species a diver must learn).  Once certified, EcoDivers can submit MS Excel data sheets to Reef Check headquarters for the purpose of monitoring reefs in regions the EcoDiver is certified for.

According to Reef Check's website:

Using the globally standardized scientific protocol, the Reef Check EcoDiver program collects valuable data to establish the status of coral reefs world wide.  The data are analyzed and used locally by marine park managers, nationally by fisheries and environment managers and internationally by organizations including United Nations agencies to help better track and care for coral reefs

Certified EcoDivers have the opportunity to participate in Reef Check EcoExpeditions -  week-long+ expeditions to various coral reef locations such as the Maldives, Oman, and Honduras - where EcoDivers will work alongside scientists to help survey reefs.

EcoDiver is an interesting approach to reef conservation and monitoring, wouldn't you say?

Author: Leonard Ho
Location: Southern California

I'm a passionate aquarist of over 30 years, a coral reef lover, and the blog editor for Advanced Aquarist. While aquarium gadgets interest me, it's really livestock (especially fish), artistry of aquariums, and "method behind the madness" processes that captivate my attention.


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