For the last seven months, and still, we have been living with the restrictions due to COVID-19: the Komodo National Park is open, but the entry to Indonesia for foreign tourists is still closed. There are hardly any guests and it means there is free time for trainings, new knowledge and new experiences.
We have taken part in the Reef Check EcoDiver course.
Reef Check Foundation is a non-profit organisation founded in 1996. The main task of the organisation is to survey the health of tropical coral reefs. Today, the Reef Check organisation’s coordination offices can be found all over the world, and coral reefs are checked in 95 countries.
In 1997, the coral reef ecologist, Dr. Gregor Hodgson, who led the organisation for 21 years, designed the Reef Check method. The main features of the method were:
- Simple and fast implementation
- Participation in the surveys must be voluntary
- Local community teams trained and led by scientists
- Universal applicability
- Result of the study – the health of the reef is determined on the basis of the selected indicator species, and the data is analysed by a special computer programme in order to determine the next steps for the conservation of the reef
Surprisingly, in 1993, at the scientific symposium “Global Aspects of Coral Reefs” in Miami, when none of the scientists had an answer to the question “What is the health of the world’s coral reefs?”, the participants realised that there was simply a lack of data. There were no standardised, global methods for studying the reefs.
The first Reef Checks were successfully carried out in 1997: more than 100 volunteer teams from over 30 tropical countries and territories took part in their local coral reef surveys. And today, there are three times as many countries that are actively involved in the reef surveys. The Reef Check organisation is active at local, national and international level.
In 2020, the first surveys of the Komodo reefs began, which was also due to the COVID-19 quarantine: there are hardly any boats in the National Park, the marine life has recovered from the visitors, the participants who work here as professional divers now have free time for training, for learning the method and for the underwater surveys. Monitoring the health of the local coral reefs is simply essential!
Komodo National Park is located in the famous Coral Triangle – a geographical area that occupies only 1.6% of the sea area, but which is home to 76% of all known coral species in the world! It is also home to 52% of the Indo-Pacific reef fish and 33% of the world’s reef fish. The Coral Triangle is the global centre of marine biodiversity, and therefore a global priority for nature conservation.
We are happy to have received the opportunity to participate in the Reef Check programme: We have successfully completed the Reef Check EcoDiver course and are now involved in local reef research.
If you would like to learn more about the mission of the Reef Check Foundation, please follow this link.
And maybe you too would like to participate in the ongoing programmes, to apply your diving skills, and to learn some new things about the life of the reef inhabitants, that we think we know all about, and their importance to coral health – believe us, dear friends, Reef Check EcoDiver is really interesting!
Wet Frog Divers
We are a SSI dive centre in Labuan Bajo, Flores, Komodo, located inside the 4* Bintang Flores Hotel with a direct access to the beach. We offer daytrips for diving on our own boat as well as a wide range of dive courses. Our aim is to offer professional diving in a familiar atmosphere. It is important to us that your diving holiday with us gets a personal touch.