By around the middle of next week ( the 29th specifically) I will have officially been in Madagascar for 1 month! I’ve had the time of my life so far and have already learnt so much in such a short amount of time!
This past week, I have been on tonnes of dives, the most frequent being the seagrass preparation for the upcoming survey, we spent most of the dives marking out the transect lines clearly- we need to have 3 transects, each 50m long along a bed of seagrass. The issue we encountered was that simply putting a pole marker every 25 meters made them difficult to locate when there is anything less than perfect visibility, so we had to do two more dives to get poles down every 5 meters, and to make sure that everything was on the correct bearings, and in a straight line! Today was the first time we could have a cold run of surveying the area, placing quadrats along the line at 4 meter intervals and counting percentage cover and shoot density of the local species of seagrass. Seagrass itself is so interesting in regards to carbon storage, they are actually more efficient at carbon storing than the Amazon rainforest! As trees store Co2 inside their trunks it is easily returned to the atmosphere when the trees are chopped down and burnt, whilst seagrass store their carbon within the ground, making it nearly impossible to remove! It’s so efficient!
As part of Reef Doctor’s waste management programme, the whole camp had a crafts day today. We spent the afternoon creating bits and bobs from scrap fabric and clothes picked up from beach cleans, from bags and coasters to a variety of bracelets and jewelry, the plan is to show these products and how to create them to the local women in order to create a source of revenue from tourists! Hopefully it has a positive reception!
Next week; Seagrass dives and first aid training!