Thursday, July 3, 2008

Reef Scientists in SP

Reef Scientists who have dove across the globe paid a visit to San Pedro and Belize this past week. Currently diving the waters off of Lighthouse Reef, the scientists are on the country as part of field trips organized by the International Coral Reef Symposium (ICRS). This symposium will take place in Florida, USA on July 7th – 11th.

Reef Radio's Jorge Aldana interviewing a Phd Student on Fisheries who was astounded as to the amount of fish on our reefs. "There is a lot of fish out there and the colors of them, the beauty is just marvelous."
In speaking with The San Pedro Sun, Dr. Melanie McField, from the Smithsonian Institution of Healthy Reefs for Healthy People Initiative, stressed the importance of the Coral Reef Symposium stating that sharing pertinent valuable reef information is key. “People that attend have the opportunity to bring home vast amounts of knowledge pertaining to reef, whether it be diseases or new developments which directly affect our ecosystem.”
While in San Pedro, the group got the opportunity to dive Bacalar Chico, the Caye Caulker Reserve and Hol Chan which all agreed, “Is worth protecting.”
Every four years the International Coral Reef Symposium (ICRS) convenes as a major scientific conference to provide the latest knowledge about coral reefs worldwide. Natural scientists, resource managers and users, conservationists, economists, and educators meet together to advance coral reef science, management, and conservation. The International Society for Reef Studies (ISRS), the largest society focused on coral reefs worldwide, officially sanctions ICRS meetings.

Dr. Melanie McField has done research in Belize's reef system for over 15 years. She was recently on San Pedro Town as part of the Society of Environmental Journalist workshop. With media houses from around the country in San Pedro Town, Dr. McField shared with them valuable information which may be used for upcoming articles. She believes that the reef is showing signs of stress but with proper conservation methods and laws, "Belize is stil in time to save our most precious valubale resource."