All posts tagged: scuba diving

Welcome To Sharkphoria

What is Sharkphoria? Sharkphoria is a science based Patreon channel dedicated to creating shark awareness and to share marine biology content through videos. The person behind Sharkphoria and creator of the videos is a marine biologist and shark researcher, Johanna Kohler, based in the Cayman Islands. As part of the non-profit collaboration, Shark Conservation Cayman, Johanna studies the local shark population which is also part of her PhD. Her shark research interests include shark behaviour and ecology, shark reproduction and human-shark conflict mitigation. By becoming a Sharkphoria Patron, anyone can now step into Johanna’s world and join her on the journey to a PhD in shark research as she is not only sharing fun, science based shark video tutorials, but also exclusive insights and first hand experiences. Sharks are one of the most misunderstood creatures.  Many people fear sharks as a result of blockbuster movies and sensationalizing media.  Media, which continues to give sharks a negative reputation, doesn’t help.  According to Johanna, sharks are not something to be feared, but rather respected. What is truly …

Dive Into Coral Reef Conservation

Grand Cayman Eco Divers has officially launched their non-profit foundation “Eco Divers Reef Foundation” established 28 November 2017 and is based in the Cayman Islands.  Founders Brittany Balli and Aaron Hunt, are a husband and wife team, that are dedicated to their Coral Nursery Program aimed to restore fragile and damaged reefs in the Cayman Islands.  A primary focus of their coral conservation efforts is maintaining local coral nurseries and coral out plant sites.  Since the inception of coral nurseries in the Cayman Islands it has proven to be successful.  Likewise, they are devoted to ensuring a positive future for Cayman’s reefs by educating the youth and the community of the Cayman Islands about the importance of coral reefs, ocean conservation and the proper techniques of working with coral nurseries.  Their non-profit foundation was created as a separate organization from their dive company Grand Cayman Eco Divers to help generate funding for coral conservation efforts in the Cayman Islands. Conserving Cayman’s Reefs   Over the last few decades, the Cayman Islands has seen a significant …

Cayman Islands Coral Watch Programme

On 23rd September 2017, the Cayman Islands Department of Environment (DOE) documented the first reports of a new coral bleaching event in the Cayman Islands.  Scientists have been investigating how widespread and intense the bleaching is across all three islands: Grand Cayman, Cayman Brac and Little Cayman.  A particularly striking find was on Andes Reef, north coast of Grand Cayman, where there were sightings of coral bleaching happening up to depths of 50 meters.  This year’s coral bleaching event has been meticulously monitored and documented by the DOE and they continue to gather data, photos, videos and conduct surveys to fully assess the impact.  As the DOE documents this stress response, they are paying close attention to 3 particular factors: 1.       Which locations of coral reefs are affected by the bleaching 2.       What species of coral are affected and which are remaining healthy 3.       What depths are bleached corals found For instance, some coral reefs on the west side of the island in shallow depths currently …

aerial photo cayman islands sunset house

Force Blue: On A Mission To Protect Coral Reefs

“One Team, One Fight.” Force Blue is an innovative non-profit organization embarking on an unprecedented mission to change the lives of Combat Divers and Special Operations Force Veterans by repurposing their skill set to aid in the recovery and preservation of critical coral reefs.  By virtue, teaching the veterans to adapt their skills for the betterment of the environment acts as a form of therapy and helps to restore the lives of veterans dealing with PTS and depression.  Force Blue has carefully built the program focusing on improving the lives of vets and offering them an opportunity to continue living a life of purpose, giving them a new mission— saving critical coral reefs and ecosystems.  Veterans often struggle with the need to be part of a team and have a mission to accomplish and/or cause to fight for.  Force Blue has devised a way for veterans to maintain that core component of their lives by deploying them all over the world to help communities save their critical coral reefs.  Veterans taking part in the initiative …

coral reef cayman islands

Cayman Islands: Coral Nursery Conservation Program

  The caribbean has already lost 80% of its coral reefs. Grand Cayman Eco Divers in collaboration with the Cayman Islands Department of Environment and various local dive establishments have teamed up for over a year aspiring to maintain coral nurseries to aid in conservation, sustainability and restoration of Cayman’s coral reefs. The program has developed effective strategies for protecting and restoring damaged areas of coral reef.  In short, their innovative approach is to grow Staghorn coral in nurseries.  Coral fragments are grown on structures referred to as coral trees.  These “trees” are made from PVC and fiberglass rods.  The fragments of coral grow into colonies.  After significant growth they are then later removed from the tree and out planted onto damaged coral reef areas to aid in their recovery.  For longevity it is proven to provide a sustainable way to maintain healthy reefs.  The successful transplantation and growth of the coral fragments help create diversity in the ecosystem as well as more resilient  reefs. Cayman Eco Divers are seeking to expand the current Coral …