Caribbean coral reef conservation in Carriacou
Volunteer for 2 weeks or longer as part of a small group of NGO divers and biologists. Dive training, island life, and learning how to conserve the marine ecosystem is complimented by accommodation in a local guest house near the project site
Open Water Dive training Advanced Open Water training Reef monitoring training Data collection dives Caribbean lionfish containment course Coral nursery program Macro invertebrate research Shark and apex predator surveys
Description of Caribbean coral reef conservation in Carriacou
This project is available to start between May and September 2020
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PlanetWe are a marine conservation NGO dedicated to working with key stakeholders to help preserve and protect the fragile coral reef ecosystem around the beautiful island of Carriacou. Current project work includes:
Reef monitoring to facilitate informed decision making concerning the governance and regulation of fishing practices on the island.
Lionfish containment: In conjunction with GEF, the selection, training and subsequent payment of locally sourced men and women to form a Lionfish hunting team. With the aim of limiting the impact of this invasive species, the team conduct regular cull dives as well as organising community events aimed at increasing the awareness of the threat and to promote the consumption of the fish as a primary protein source.
Coral nursery: In conjunction with UNEP, the selection and training of locally sourced coral gardeners, the construction and population of a Elkhorn coral nursery, including regular cleaning and measurements. As of now, coral fragments are undergoing out planting and thus helping to restore the natural reef barrier in an effort to combat the ongoing threat of coastal erosion.
As part of wider environmental concerns, the team, community members and volunteers conduct regular beach clean ups to help alleviate the impact of of waste products and debris and their contribution to marine and coral reef pollution.
Whilst water is piped, CRB and the associated dive centre utilise large water bowsers to collect rain water which is used as the 'source of choice' for the majority of the year.
PeopleAll of our past, present and future project work will have an important community aspect. This ranges from training and employment through to community liaison and workshops. To date, we have selected and trained 16 locally sourced divers who are actively involved in our project work.
As a team, we are always on the look out for 'shining stars', one such individual was identified in 2016 and has completed his professional training up to the instructor level, including becoming a Reef Check Instructor, as such he will play a full and active role in training the volunteers visiting in 2017 and beyond.
As part of our Lionfish programme, we identified a need to involve as many community members as possible. One target group was local artists and jewelry makers who received special training and supplies of equipment to produce Lionfish jewelry constructed from the spines and fins of the fish. Two very successful jewelry makers have now through our connections established regular supply to US based outlets.
During our volunteer season, we have specifically selected a locally owned and run hotel, thus ensuring a very valuable revenue stream for the owners. In addition, we organise, 'out of working hours' trips to locally owned bars and restaurants in order to ensure maximum community benefit from these visitors.