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Diving in the Seychelles…The GVI Way!


We have another diary for you! Sian Lewis a regular diver here in Sharm has decided to take a slightly different route with her diving and venture down the conservation route, heading out to the Seychelles with GVI, and like other fabulous DiveBunnies, she has agreed to keep us up to date with her progress. Being in a slightly remote location, she is going to update her story as and when she can get internet access, and you will be able to read each update as it happens, here on the DiveBunnie site.

Introduction
In March this year I went to the London Dive show and whilst wandering around the stalls trying to win a dive holiday somewhere exotic I came across the Global Vision International (GVI) Stand. I was planning to take a 6 month career break later in the year and wanted to dive as much as possible in places I wouldn’t normally go to for a holiday so I stopped for a quick chat…..6 months later I find myself boarding a plane bound for the Seychelles to take part in a marine conservation expedition with GVI.

GVI undertake 3 marine research expeditions across the world with 2 being in Mexico and the other one in the Seychelles. The work in the Seychelles assists the work of local government and National Government Offices (NGOs), working on the marine environment of the Seychelles. GVI’s partners include the Seychelles Centre for Marine Research and Technology, Marine Parks Authority (SCMRT-MPA), Ministry of Environment, Seychelles Fishing Authority (SFA), local NGOs: the Marine Conservation Society Seychelles (MCSS), Nature Protection Trust of Seychelles (NPTS) plus international NGOs and universities. By working with these partners several project areas have been identified and GVI have built on them to develop evolving programmes of assistance. Presently the projects worked on in the Seychelles include:

the island
  • Coral reef monitoring, including coral recruitment and coral and fish abundance and diversity, together with algal and invertebrate studies. This research is in accordance with internationally recognised survey techniques, as requested by the local partners to GVI in the Seychelles ( SCMRT-MPA and the ministry of Environment).
  • Invertebrate population monitoring, in partnership with the SFA.
  • Assistance with Whale Shark Migration Research, in partnership with MCSS.
  • Plankton monitoring programme, on behalf of the MCSS.
  • Marine Turtle Research, in partnership with the MCSS and NPTS.
  • Cetacean sighting data collection, in support of the MCSS and SCMRT-MPA.
  • Curieuse Island Marine Park, in partnership with SCMRT-MPA.
  • Community education and awareness programmes.
All this takes place on the island of Mahe, the largest granitic island in the Seychelles which is surrounded by coral reef, granite drop off and white sandy beaches as well as a satellite camp on Curieuse Island which has 150 giant tortoises that roam freely on the island.

Sounds idyllic hey? However, reality hit me when I arrived at Cap Ternay on October 3rd this year and was shown to my dorm. I was provided with a bed that had an old teddy bear mattress and had no wardrobe or shelving or any description. This was going to be my home for the next 10 weeks. What had I let myself in for I wondered? Could I get a return flight now? I questioned. There were 28 expedition members in total, including myself, and we’d been split into 2 groups prior to starting the expedition in order to survey fish or coral. For me… It was fish and I was daunted by the 150 fish that needed to be learnt. Little did I realise that the book Reef Fish Identification by Allen, Steene, Humann and DeLoach would become my bible over the next few weeks.


ON TO DAY ONE:
ON TO WHAT WAS NEXT:
ON TO THE WEEK OUT:
ON TO THE CONCLUSION:

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