Reef Watch survey set for 9 April

In accordance with April’s designation as Earth Month, another Reef Watch survey will be conducted on Saturday, 9 April.

The survey is coordinated by the Cayman Islands Tourism Association Watersports Committee in partnership with the Department of Environment.

Various dive operators, members of the Association, will be offering free snorkel gear, a free tank for shore dives and a free boat dive to those completing surveys.

Divers and snorkellers are asked to complete questionnaires on the state of the reefs and the diversity and abundance of different species of fish and corals.

The survey results are scientifically valuable, organisers say.

The general assumption is that the state of the marine environment here, as in many places in the world, has deteriorated somewhat in the past 25 years.

However, as John Bothwell, senior research officer at the Department of Environment explains, “The Department has no hard data available with which to make comparisons. The Reef Watch survey is actually part of our ongoing efforts to change that.”

Survey data will be entered into the DoE’s database of other such surveys, which date to 1997, for comparison.