At the start of September Dive Tribe CEO Gwyn Mills and Head of Research Dr Wayne Phillips took time out to go and visit some old friends at the New Heaven Dive School on Koh Tao.
Dive Tribe were paying special interest to the ecological monitoring program that was originally written by Dr Wayne Phillips and Chad Scott, as Dive Tribe will now be offering this specialist course to budding marine biologists and marine conservationists in Pattaya.
The courses teaches you how to look for indicator species on the reefs , which allow us to know the overall condition of the reef ,and this data can be cross referenced with the substrate data to give us a much better picture as to the reefs health at the present time.
So do you know your Acropora from your Pocillopora? Your branching coral from your encrusting coral? Do you know how to tell a healthy coral from an unhealthy one?
Fish are a vitally important resource on the reef providing food for predators and also helping to keep in check the algae that may overgrow the corals. Do you know your herbivores from your predators? your grazers from your corallivores?
One of the aims of Dive Tribe is to instill a sense of ownership and stewardship of the reef. But how is this possible if there is no real connection between the visitor and the reef?
If people have a clearer understanding of their environment then it automatically becomes easier to protect that resource.
This is why Dive Tribe now offers the Ecological Monitoring Program – a certificate open to Advanced Divers.
The EMP is based on internationally recognized research protocols to assess the abundance, diversity and health of corals, invertebrates and fish on a regular monthly basis. By determining the substrate composition, coral health and water quality Dive Tribe will be in a better position to lobby for greater protection of the reefs of Pattaya and beyond.
So stop hitting like on facebook or signing petitions, grab your BCD and get really active in marine conservation, please come and join us and learn at our new facility in Pattaya.