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Belize Reefs - Snorkeling
Coral Reef Fish Monitoring - Snorkeling
Bordering Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula, Belize boasts the largest barrier reef in the Western Hemisphere. The decline of reef ecosystems is of utmost concern throughout the tropics and the world. Conservation and responsible management of reef resources has become a high priority. A monitoring scheme that allows early detection of stress to the reef ecosystem is essential to any reef management plan.
As Belize develops its coastline and offshore cayes, this conservation project will help evaluate reef health by giving early warning of any changes in reef health so that remedies can be implemented in time to protect the reef. In addition, data collected from this project is essential for planning or halting any future development.
Reef Monitoring—Nicole Duplaix©
The Oceanic Society, in cooperation with the Belize Coastal Zone Management Authority and Belize Fisheries, has initiated a coral reef monitoring plan to collect basic ecological data on reef and seagrass habitats. Our goal is to answer questions related to coral reef community population, structure, health and viability over time. In addition, participants will study population dynamics of ecologically important reef fish and long-spined sea urchins. Sampling techniques require no specialized equipment such as scuba, and have relatively little lasting impact on local habitats.
Volunteers will assist the coral reef researcher performing shallow water coral reef transects for a quantitative measure of reef resources. This program is part of a regional monitoring initiative to assess coral reef health. Following defined transect lines, volunteers will swim the area to record specific fish types known as bioindicater species. Only snorkeling skills are needed to participate and you can choose from multiple tasks and will be trained in the use of equipment and sampling techniques.
On this 8-day program, participants assist the researcher in performing shallow water coral reef transects for a quantitative measure of reef structure and health. Participants will swim the area defined by transect lines to record fish and coral species. headquarters for this project is at Blackbird Caye, at the Blackbird-Oceanic Society Field Station. Accommodations are in beachfront cabanas offering double occupancy rooms with private baths. Only snorkeling skills are needed to participate.
Powerpoint Manual for registered Participants
(must be registered on website)
U.S./Belize City/Blackbird Caye Arrive in Belize City for a 90-minute boat transfer to Blackbird Caye. Evening trip briefing and welcome dinner. Spend seven nights in comfortable beachfront cabanas.
Blackbird Caye. Research training session in the morning with a snorkel check-out off the dock and a snorkel trip to a nearby shallow reef sites. The reef sites are in the warm waters within the atoll.
Day 3 thru 7:
Each morning and/or afternoon, under the direction of the researcher, there will be boat surveys to nearby coral reefs to gather data about water quality, reef inhabitants and indicators of reef health.
Snorkeling opportunities are excellent in the clear warm waters, and some free time will be provided for snorkeling right from the beach.
There will be evening presentations on the research project, the natural history of reef inhabitants, and marine ecosystems. In addition, preparations will be made for the following days' activities.
Blackbird Caye/Belize City/U.S. Early morning boat transfer back to Belize City in time to transfer to the airport for your flight back to the U.S.
Upcoming Trips:click on each trip for more information
Jun 8, 2013
Nov 2, 2013
Jan 18, 2014
Jan 25, 2014
Feb 1, 2014
Feb 8, 2014
Feb 22, 2014
Mar 15, 2014
May 3, 2014