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Belize Reef Research
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.
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.
Day 3 thru 7:
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.
2009 Land-only cost:
2010 Land-only cost:
$1,975 (no airfare) **
Contact our office regarding air schedules and fares
Maximum group size: 8
Powerpoint Manual for registered Participants
Information & Reservations
Please fill out an APPLICATION to sign-up for the BELIZE CORAL REEF MONITORING expedition.
Send E-mail regarding this specific trip: Belize Coral Reef Monitoring