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!