About Reef Check

Reef Check is a coral reef monitoring protocol that uses standard and simple methodology to collect robust scientific data. Although its main objective is the study of coral reef health, it also looks to educate the public about coral reef crises, induce local community action to protect remaining healthy corals and contribute to economically sustainable solutions.

This methodology was implemented in 1997 by Reef Check Foundation, a non-profit international marine conservation organisation. With the need to understand the global conditions of our coral reefs, it was mandatory by that time to establish a methodology that could be used all around the world and done by divers with different backgrounds, not only marine biologists.

After intensive training, divers are able to collect data that is used in the creation of a Global and Regional/Local report regarding the status of the coral reefs. Reef Check teams collect four types of data for each dive site:

  • A description of each reef site based on 30 measures of environmental and socio-economic conditions and ratings of human impacts;
  • A measure of the percentage coverage of different substrate types, including live and dead coral;
  • Invertebrates indicator species counts;
  • Fish indicator species counts.

For more information please visit www.reefcheck.org

Reef Check and EDA

By joining our Reef Check monitoring team, you can help monitor and track the world’s reefs. Reefs, both tropical and temperate, are in a state of crisis, today they look vastly different from what they did only 30 years ago. Big fish are scarce and some marine creatures have disappeared completely. Over 45% of the world’s reefs are severely threatened by human activities including overfishing, pollution and global warming. By becoming a certified Reef Check diver, you can help track the health of our reefs by participating in monitoring surveys and conservation worldwide.

Until now, EDA has trained more than 100 divers with Reef Check methodology. By dividing the divers into different Reef Check teams, we will be able to collect data from several sites on the East Coast of the UAE, with particular focus in the Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) of Dibba, Al Aqah and Dadna. By collecting data every month, EDA is able to write a report on the Status of Coral Reefs of the three MPAs on the East Coast. This report will make us understand the principal threats that our marine environment is facing at the moment and the actions that need to be taken in order to re-establish a healthy ecosystem in the area.

Training

You will be trained to perform Reef Check surveys in the Indo-Pacific. So, you will be able to join EDA Reef Check teams every month as well as joining other Reef Check teams in other countries of the Indo-Pacific. To look for a specific place, go to: reefcheck.org/coordinators_and_teams

The training takes place over three days:

  • The first 2 days will be done in one weekend and consists of classroom work and tests. You will become familiar with many of the Indo-Pacific marine species of fish, invertebrates and will be trained to identify different kinds of substrates, corals and sponges.
  • The third day consists of 1 to 2 dives on the East Coast, depending on weather conditions, consisting of buoyancy exercises, one underwater exam and a mock dive.
  • All training materials (manual, CDs, DVDs, field guide flash cards, reef check ID card), lunch on first and last day, boat costs, transport to the East Coast and renewal or new EDA membership are included in the training price.

Testing and Certification: PowerPoint ID test (80%) and field test (90% to pass) to obtain regional certification card (Indo-Pacific). Certification card qualifies holder to participate in Reef Check surveys in the region and to submit their data to the global database.

Qualification

To join the EDA Reef Check training you only need to be a diver (any level) with at least 15 dives (good buoyancy is important).

Price

The total training price is 650 AED, 50% off the original price. We are a non-profit organisation so the price for the training will go towards the expenses of Reef Check training and the project.

If you have any questions about the project or need more details about the training, please do not hesitate to contact us at projects@emiratesdiving.com