Who has access to the underwater world? Divers!
Who witnesses, at first hand, the impact wrought on fragile coral reefs from climate change, global warming, ocean acidification, over-fishing and ocean pollution? Divers!
Who must lead the fight against human activities destroying coral reefs before it is too late? Divers!
This is why, here at Dive Desk, we do everything in our capacity to support motivated divers to take action to protect the ocean planet we love.
When Farah Amjad became one of the two fortunate entrants to win the Earthwatch Shulman Awards 2019, Dive Desk happily supported her to implement the grant as the project partner.
The project comprises of two main components:
Setting up a coral nursery on a degraded area of the house-reef of Thulusdhoo island in Kaafu Atoll, Maldives. This component entailed the establishment of environmental baseline conditions, ‘planting’ of corals with a wide range of morphologies and genetic lineages to increase the diversity and structural complexity of the selected location, identifying larvae settlement rates on the reef and long-term monitoring of the coral nursery.
The second component of the project was its citizen science aspect aiming to increase community engagement in the practice of reef restoration and monitoring. Farah used the globally standardized Reef Check methodology to teach key indicator fish, invertebrates and substrates to local volunteer divers interested to learn basic reef monitoring techniques and coral reef ecology.
Both the Reef Check EcoDiver training and Coral Nursery Pilot gave exposure for divers, dive professionals and dive pro students at Dive Desk to the importance of being actively involved in marine conservation.
Farah Amjad is a PADI Divemaster candidate at Dive Desk. She holds a Bachelor in Environment Management and is currently studying for a Masters Degree in Marine Conservation. Over the past few years she has done numerous marine surveys and ecological monitoring consultancies and is committed to advancing her knowledge and experience through volunteer work.