About REEF WATCH
REEF WATCH will train you to recognize key fish and corals. Training scheduled at the Aquarium on either 27th or 28th August. Each participant contributes a minimum of $50 to coral reef research. The funds will support data collection and analysis. The $50 can be paid by the participants or raised from pledges to support the project.
REEF WATCH has been developed to be an annual community environmental monitoring fundraising project run by Bermuda Zoological Society (BZS). It supports on-going management of the Bermuda Reef Platform by mobilizing and training volunteers, BZS members, students, interested naturalists, recreational fishermen, lobster divers, boaters, etc., on a one day event to identify and record key reef species.
Bermuda supports the northern-most coral reef system in the world and it is the aim of BZS to increase awareness by monitoring the health and abundance of critical species of fishes and corals within our coral reef system. This annual event will help us understand, protect and manage our reef environment.
BZS has developed an inexpensive, simple, non-invasive method for the monitoring of fish species and assessment of coral health. Fish sightings can be recorded directly on the REEF WATCH slate that has been specifically designed for underwater use and includes a colour guide to the target fish species.
All submitted data will be made available on the BZS website (www.bzs.bm) and the BREAM Blog (Bermuda Reef Ecosystem Analysis and Monitoring Programme http://bermudabream.blogspot.com/). Scientists will evaluate volunteer results and compare the distribution of their reef surveys with all other existing data from each reef site; making it possible to compare many different reefs at any one point in time, as well as a single reef over time.
Together we can build a growing movement protecting our ocean playground, striving toward a clean, healthy ocean.
Over the past several decades, there has been a dramatic decline in the health of coral reef systems globally. Bermuda is one of the few remaining locations with relatively healthy reefs. For this reason, the Island's shallow water marine habitats not only are important locally, but also serve both as an important barometer of global reef health and as an "ark" or life raft where reef plants and animals might survive until neighbouring Caribbean reefs recover.
Only through focused resource management and conservation actions, guided by comprehensive monitoring, will Bermuda’s reefs and fish stocks remain resilient and healthy. The BREAM project, through BZS sponsorship, has created an accurate map of Bermuda's entire reef complex and its distribution of plants and animals. Data are shared internationally to promote better understanding of coral reefs. The production of such a map is essential in developing a baseline database of the current status of Bermuda's reef system with which future trends can be compared.