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Thread: Help protect Bonaire's reef

  1. #1
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    Default Help protect Bonaire's reef

    Hello All

    Can you help to protect Bonaire's reef by recording the health of the reef while diving? Find the survey here, and return to (or pick one up in the shop also):
    Dive Friends
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    CaribInn
    BelMer
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    Bel Mer
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    My name is Michaela, and I'm a PhD student at the University of St Andrews, Scotland. I'm on Bonaire collecting data on the health of Bonaire's environment. The project aims to look at the best ways of allocating conservation funds on the island to achieve maximum protection, both on land and on the reef. The map created with data collected by Bonaire's divers will enable links to be made between land and reef degradation, and therefore targeting of conservation efforts. Results will also be used to create a 'Divers Map', showing the health of the reef as voted by divers, and enabling you to plan your dives.

    Any questions about the project can be e-mailed to mhr4@st-andrews.ac.uk.

    Thank you!

  2. #2
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    Default

    Do you any other info or a copy of survey online?

  3. #3
    tursiops's Avatar
    tursiops is offline Bonaire Lover SUPPORTING MEMBER - Bonaire Talker
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    Quote Originally Posted by MichaelaResearch View Post
    Hello All

    Can you help to protect Bonaire's reef by recording the health of the reef while diving? Find the survey here, and return to (or pick one up in the shop also):
    Dive Friends
    GoooDive
    CaribInn
    BelMer
    Caribbean Club
    Bel Mer
    VIP Diving
    Tropical Diving

    My name is Michaela, and I'm a PhD student at the University of St Andrews, Scotland. I'm on Bonaire collecting data on the health of Bonaire's environment. The project aims to look at the best ways of allocating conservation funds on the island to achieve maximum protection, both on land and on the reef. The map created with data collected by Bonaire's divers will enable links to be made between land and reef degradation, and therefore targeting of conservation efforts. Results will also be used to create a 'Divers Map', showing the health of the reef as voted by divers, and enabling you to plan your dives.

    Any questions about the project can be e-mailed to mhr4@st-andrews.ac.uk.

    Thank you!

    One suggestion, two questions.
    Suggestion: designate some area on some reef(s) as a test and calibration area.....at which the divers can make their estimate and you already know the "correct" area.
    Question 1: How many surveys do you need to get a meaningful result?
    Question 2: Why have you not involved the large northern dive resorts, i.e. Sand Dollar, Buddy Dive, and Capt Don's?
    Mel Briscoe, Alexandria, Virginia

  4. #4
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    I presume you were the person we talked to in September when we could not do the survey for lack of eye-glasses at the dive site. After reading this survey, I question its value.

    Coral cover itself may not be a relevant metric. Some places are well covered but the coral is in deteriorating condition. The amount of algae and the type of algae growing on the reefs may be indicative of the reef health but this is not included. The same can be said about a variety of other metrics.

    I've been diving Bonaire, 2 weeks each September, for more than 15 years. There are constant changes to the reefs and the fish life. Some years we see a lot of something where there was little to none the year before, then it disappears again. This is just normal reef life, probably not indicative of anything so a long term perspective is needed if the answers are to be meaningful.

    Though I believe it is on a long-term decline, water quality varies from year-to-year, even week-to-week. Again, a very long term perspective is needed and, for many of us, our long-term memory is about as consistent as the quality of Bonaire's sea water. Actual determination of water quality cannot be done with a survey, it would take real scientific monitoring over decades, decades that are probably not available and employing equipment that just isn't in the cards.

    There are things that are obvious and could be dealt with relatively inexpensively. Hooking up every building on the island to the sewer system is a start but dealing with local fishermen is equally important. More conch's would be helpful in dealing with algae on the sand, fewer lion-fish eating fish that eat algae growing on the corals would be another. Incentivize removing lion-fish and de-incentivize removing conch's would be a start.

    Bonaire seems to "go easy" on local transgressors, that is their choice. Doing so may make fixing things impossible.

  5. #5
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    Hello

    Thanks for the suggestion, I will be calibrating the data using previous studies in coral cover conducted by Steneck at the University of Maine

    And in answer:
    1. 100 individual divers is the aim, more is better, and multiple surveys from one diver is also valuable.
    2. Dive Friends at Sand Dollar are taking part, and I am talking to Bonaire Dive and Adventure. Unfortunately neither Buddy Dive nor Captain Don's were interested to be involved in the survey.

    Thanks again

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by thom View Post
    I presume you were the person we talked to in September when we could not do the survey for lack of eye-glasses at the dive site. After reading this survey, I question its value.

    Coral cover itself may not be a relevant metric. Some places are well covered but the coral is in deteriorating condition. The amount of algae and the type of algae growing on the reefs may be indicative of the reef health but this is not included. The same can be said about a variety of other metrics.

    I've been diving Bonaire, 2 weeks each September, for more than 15 years. There are constant changes to the reefs and the fish life. Some years we see a lot of something where there was little to none the year before, then it disappears again. This is just normal reef life, probably not indicative of anything so a long term perspective is needed if the answers are to be meaningful.

    Though I believe it is on a long-term decline, water quality varies from year-to-year, even week-to-week. Again, a very long term perspective is needed and, for many of us, our long-term memory is about as consistent as the quality of Bonaire's sea water. Actual determination of water quality cannot be done with a survey, it would take real scientific monitoring over decades, decades that are probably not available and employing equipment that just isn't in the cards.

    There are things that are obvious and could be dealt with relatively inexpensively. Hooking up every building on the island to the sewer system is a start but dealing with local fishermen is equally important. More conch's would be helpful in dealing with algae on the sand, fewer lion-fish eating fish that eat algae growing on the corals would be another. Incentivize removing lion-fish and de-incentivize removing conch's would be a start.

    Bonaire seems to "go easy" on local transgressors, that is their choice. Doing so may make fixing things impossible.
    Thank you very much for the well thought out reply, I very much appreciate the feedback. It was indeed myself who you spoke to in September, though for a different part of my project.

    This survey is a single component of my PhD project. The project will also incorporate long term data which has been collected on Bonaire's reef. However this data does not cover the whole of the island, therefore these rapid, snapshots of reef health (which you are absolutely right in pointing out they are), will provide another layer of data to improve my models.

    You are certainly right many things can be done to improve reef health, of which land protection is just one.

    Thanks again, and I hope I answered your questions.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by sorobonanne View Post
    Do you any other info or a copy of survey online?

    Yes, the link should be in the text, but in case it is not working it is here also:
    https://drive.google.com/open?id=0B2...ElZc0lDZlRLT2M

    What other information would you like?

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