In conjunction with the University Marine Biological Station Millport, SOSF is sponsoring a field course for students on coral reef management and monitoring, taking place in Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt from the 30th of March to Thursday 9th April, 2009. The course organiser for this year’s course is SOSF’s Chief Scientist Dr Rupert Ormond.
The fieldwork for the course will take place within the Ras Mohammed National Park and the associated marine protected areas that extend along the coast between there and the protected area at Nabq, between Sharm El Sheikh and Dahab.
The reefs of Ras Mohammed and the adjacent south-east coast of South Sinai are amongst the best in the world. They are also the closest reefs to Europe, and consequently have been visited by divers for many years. Now mass sun and sea tourism, linked to a thriving SCUBA diving industry, is in an exponential growth phase. However, the Egyptian Government, aware of the importance of conservation of both the reefs, and of the tourism and fisheries resources that they represent, has established ambitious conservation plans.
The course will provide a chance to see much of the tourist activities and hotels that now dominate the coast, but you will also learn something of the attempts being made to protect and manage the fragile marine ecosystems that are threatened by this development. You will experience the range of coral reef environments characteristic of the area, and gain experience of the practicalities involved of undertaking research and conservation in this type of location.
For full details, download the course instruction booklet here.