© Judy England

Reef Check

Take part in volunteer dive surveys to help conserve coral reefs

Every year MCS leads on the scientific surveys of coral reefs with our partners at Biosphere Expeditions and Reef Check. Dr Jean-Luc Solandt (MCS’s Principal Specialist on MPAs and also the Maldives Reef Check Coordinator) has been training and running Reef Check surveys around the world since 1997 and since 2010 has been the expedition scientists on the Biosphere Expeditions projects.

The expeditions take place on comfortable live-aboard yachts and are divided into one week blocks. The only requirement to take part is a valid diving licence (minimum PADI Open Water or similar standard). All survey training is provided as part of the expedition.

Help hands-on coral reef conservation now!

Maldives expedition details Musandam (Oman) expedition details

Maldives Report 2016

The 2016 Biosphere Expeditions Maldives Report is out and the results are shocking, with severe bleaching, crown-of-thorns starfish infestation, and overfishing threatening the reefs.

Dr Jean-Luc Solandt was the Reef Check consultant on the expedition and says: “Having learned marine ecology at a pristine northern Great Barrier Reef in 1992, I’m personally devastated by the effect of climate on coral reefs the world over. The Caribbean has almost no coral left, the Indo-Pacific and remote parts of the amazing islands visited by ancient mariners, Captain Cook (late 1700s), Darwin (1830s) and Cousteau (1950s) are no more – they simply wouldn’t recognize them. It’s the saddest thing that’s happened in my lifetime – and it has occurred in my lifetime. The Maldives used to be ‘good’ when I went there in 2005, now it’s pretty wrecked. What do I tell my kids?”

Read the report here: [here](http://www.biosphere-expeditions.org/images/stories/pdfs/reports/report-maldives16.pdf?utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Participant communication Maldives report 12 April 2017&utm_content=Participant communication Maldives report 12 April 2017+CID_5e7bd9facf37ae7590666373a932c196&utm_source=Email marketing software&utm_term=Go to expedition report)

Last years’ survey report tracked the bleaching impacts in different types of Maldives coral reefs. Read that report here.

Comments from partners:

“We now have a rock-star local team in the Maldives” – Dr Gregor Hodgson, ReefCheck founder and Director, 9.10.15

“Dr Solandt’s collaborations in the Maldives and elsewhere stands him in good stead to deliver an effective level of training and data collection. The resulting surveys provide data on at least 3-4 key sites per year, and allows both local partners and international scientists to track the condition of the reefs based on 30 indicators including fish, algae, corals and other invertebrates.” Dr Gregor Hodgson, ReefCheck founder and Director, 27.1.2014

“We firmly believe in capacity-building and community involvement, and the ongoing association between Dr. Jean-Luc Solandt, Biosphere Expeditions and the MRC that provides a longterm, sustainable, and hands‐on collaboration towards a better understanding and appreciation of the health of the reefs of the Maldives.” – Dr M Shiham Adam, Director, Maldives Research Centre, Male’, Maldives.

Actions you can take

Did you know?…

5.4 million people spend time by, on or in the sea every year

Over 500,000 records of undersea species and habitats have been collected by volunteer Seasearch divers

MCS launched Seasearch in 2003 to train volunteer divers to record and monitor wildlife and habitats