Today, meet our second volunteer student who just finished at ISS and was looking for a productive way to spend her time in academia limbo.
"Hi name is Carla Monthy. I’m 17 years old and I went to the international school of Seychelles on Mahe. While waiting for my results I decided to work with Marine Conservation Society Seychelles and Cerf Island Conservation Program because I’m interested with the marine life and it would also keep me busy. Working with MCSS gives me more ideas of what I really want to do in the future. So far my biggest dream is to become a marine biologist. I enjoy working in the sea and take part in all sorts of water sports such as jet ski, surfing etc.. Since I’ve been volunteering here on Cerf everyday we’ve been snorkeling and monitoring the corals which is awesome and exciting! I saw different forms of corals, and also I’ve learned different facts about some species of corals and fishes in our sea. Since the weather has changed into the SE monsoon, cooler waters will be the first major step into returning those bleached corals back to colourful, healthy colonies. I’ve enjoyed these past couple of weeks with MCSS/CICP.
On my first day, I was really nervous to start working with MCSS. Im glad I had Sara and Margaux by my side. First thing we did was to check the current direction on a kayak with a plastic bag, buoy, and washed up dead coral to sink the plastic bag so it can move along with the current. Sara recorded the time and she used a GPS to see how far the buoy drifted by marking drop and pickup points of these “drifts drogues”. The next day Sara and I went snorkeling at L’Habitation and It was really interesting to see the beautiful corals. We’ve been snorkeling and hiking with clients, as we explain and tell them some interesting facts about the reef life. And also we’ve been doing beach cleaning every day before lunch. During my snorkeling on Cerf Island with Margaux I’ve seen many different species of reef life such as puffer fish, rays, barracuda, lion fish, moray eel and also a few turtles! So far I'm enjoying my time working with MCSS."
We enjoy having you here with us and are looking forward to the upcoming months.
Meet another Chloe! A student at the International School Seychelles who has decided to come volunteer her time with us whilst the school holidays pass.
"Hello, my name is Chloe. I’m 14 years old and I go to International School Seychelles. My dream is to become a Marine Biologist, as I really enjoy the ocean and it’s marine life together with ocean sports such as surfing, skiing etc... I have always had an insane amount of love for the ocean and I would do the impossible just to try and help it in the smallest way possible! I am here with MCSS/CICP because I felt like it would be a great experience and could help me boost my knowledge of the ocean such as corals, sea animals and more. I knew I would really enjoy it because there is nothing I love more than a good snorkel in the beautiful ocean and to admire it beauties. I am very eager to keep learning new things every day, as it is something that I really enjoy doing and have a passion for. I heard about MCSS with a close friend of mine that was volunteering with MCSS; she explained to me how it was great and I would get to learn, snorkel and how I’d really enjoy it. I went straight home and told my parents and they immediately sent MCSS an email asking if I could join just until school would start again.
In my first week here, I’ve learned about the different life forms of corals, I’ve helped create signs to prevent littering, I’ve gone snorkelling with Margeaux by my side and saw some insanely beautiful corals and fish, and also learned about the reef rehabilitation efforts that are in place including beach cleaning. We’ve gone on the local hike on Tuesday just until the viewpoint as we encountered some spiders, which was not very pleasant, tripped over a few rocks and saw some interesting flowers. We went to the view point and saw a mesmerising view that was just simply beautiful! We stood there looking over at Saint Anne and Moyenne Island admiring their beauty with the blue ocean surrounding it. I also started learning about the coral families, their appearances and nicknames so I can identify them underwater! It was very interesting and cleared up some of my curiosity about the corals. "
Nice to have you hear Chloe. We look forward to teaching you as much as we can in our time together and getting you very familiar with our reefs here at Cerf.
I am writing as my adventure here comes to its end after almost 3 months. I’ve had a marvelous time in these amazing islands both during work and days off. Seychelles is a beautiful country with breath-taking beaches and landscapes. During my stay I had time for a short trip to Praslin and La Digue. Definitely worth the visit to the Vallé de Mai UNESCO site and Anse Lazio in Praslin and so much fun cycling around La Digue, exploring its stunning white sand beaches decorated by huge granitic boulders. Lots of fun also on Mahe, where you can jump in waterfalls/pools, snorkel, hike and surf at the southern beaches.
It was a great experience working for the CICP on Cerf Island. Here I had the opportunity to spend most of my time snorkeling on our reefs, carrying out monitoring, doing some beach cleaning or taking clients for some fun time in the water. Since June I have been responsible of a new task we decided to introduce here at CICP. I’ve been monitoring 47 coral colonies among our three snorkeling trails to assess their resilience to the latest bleaching event that struck. So far, around 30% of the colonies have been showing signs of recovery, about 10% died while the rest is at the same state as at the beginning of the monitoring. We also found two Favia colonies affected by Black Band Disease of which I have been recording the progression. The speed at which the disease is growing is surprisingly fast with an average 5 cm increment in diameter per week. Warmer waters affect basic physiological responses corals, making them weaker and more susceptible to infections. Indeed, the outbreak of some coral diseases, such as the black band,can be associated with increased seawater temperature.Therefore, it’s really important to keep track of the status of the corals to understand the response of the reef to the pressures that can impact on it.
My work here allowed me to expand my expertise in tropical marine ecology, especially in Indo-Pacific fish, coral and invertebrate identification, gaining more competence in reef surveys, conservation and restoration techniques. Furthermore the opportunity to interact with clients and to supervise other volunteers enhanced my interpersonal and public relation skills. Hoping that my presence here left a positive footprint, I hand over my work to Margaux as it is time for me to move to my next adventure in Saudi Arabia!"
You left many footprints here Sara and we appreciate all of your hard work. Thank you for your time and best of luck in Saudi!