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Reef Check Program for Divers PDF Print E-mail

Reef Check Training 2017

 If you are interested in knowing more about our marine environment, collecting data from our local reefs and getting more out of your dives, this may be what you are looking for. Divers will learn about our local ecosystems and will be able to participate in our monthly survey dives which will help us to understand the threats our corals are facing by providing important data.


About Reef Check

Reef Check is a coral reef monitoring protocol that uses standard and simple methodology to collect robust scientific data. Although its main objective is the study of coral reefs health, it also looks to educate the public about coral reef crisis, induce local community action to protect remaining healthy corals and contribute to economically sustainable solutions.

This methodology was implemented in 1997 by Reef Check Foundation, a non-profit international marine conservation organization. With the need to understand the global conditions of our coral reefs, it was mandatory by that time to establish a methodology that could be used all around the world, and done by divers with different backgrounds, not only marine biologists.

After an intensive training, divers are able to collect data that is used in the creation of a Global and Regional/Local report regarding the status of the coral reefs. Reef Check team collect four types of data for each dive site:

1.       A description of each reef site based on 30 measures of environmental and socio-economic conditions and ratings of human impacts;

2.       A measure of the percentage coverage of different substrate types, including live and dead coral;

3.       Invertebrates indicator species counts;

4.       Fish indicator species counts.

Reef Check in Abu Dhabi

By joining our Reef Check monitoring team, you can help monitor and track the world’s reefs. Reefs, both tropical and temperate, are in a state of crisis, today they look vastly different from what they did only 30 years ago. Big fish are scarce and some marine creatures have disappeared completely. Over 45% of the world’s reefs are severely threatened by human activities including overfishing, pollution and global warming. By becoming a certified Reef Check diver, you can help track the health of our reefs by participating in monitoring surveys and conservation worldwide. Sites already survey include Al Dhabiyah since 2012 and Sadiyaar Reef. Other sites we would like to survey include Ras Ghanada, Ras Gurab, Dalma Island, Al Yasat and Marawah biosphere.


Until now, Al Mahara has trained more than 20 divers with Reef Check methodology, and it intends to train a few more in 2017-2018 for the doing surveys in Arabian Gulf. By dividing the divers in different Reef Check teams, we have been able to collect data in several sites in Abu Dhabi with particular focus in areas for potential to be marine protected areas. By collecting data every month, Al Mahara and its volunteers will be capable of submitting the data/ report on the Status of Coral Reefs of theABu Dhabi coral reefs in the West Coast. This report will make us understand the principal threats that our marine environment is facing at the moment and the actions that need to be implemented in order to re-establish a healthy ecosystem in the area.

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You will be trained to perform Reef Check surveys in all Indo-Pacific. So, you will be able to join EDA Reef Check team every month as well as joining other Reef Check team in other countries of the Indo-Pacific. To look for a specific place go to:

The trainings take place over three days:

  • The 2 and half days will be done in one weekend and will consists of classroom and tests and reef monitoring practises. You will become very familiar with many of Indo-Pacific's marine species of fish, invertebrates and will be trained to identify different kinds of substrate as corals and sponges.
  • The last day consists of 1 to 2 dives in a selected location (to be confirmed), depending on the weather conditions, consisting of buoyancy exercises, one underwater exam and a mock dive.

All training materials (USB student manual and methodology, field guide flash cards, reef check ID card), lunch on first and last day, boat costs and renewal or new EDA membership are included in the training price.

Note: we conduct female only courses also.


Testing and Certification: PowerPoint ID test (80%) and field test (90% to pass) to obtain regional certification card (Indo-Pacific). Certification card qualifies holder to participate in Reef Check surveys in the region and to submit their data to the global database.


To join the Reef Check training you only need to be a diver (any level) with at least 15 dives (good buoyancy is important). 


Date and schedule: June dates will be announced



The total training price is 1300 AED (Dhs100 will go towards EDA membership). Reef Check is a nonprofit organization, so the price for the training will go for the expenses of 2017 Reef Check training.  Price subject to change, please register early to avoid any disappointments.



We will only take 8 students for this training, so book your place as soon as possible!


Those interested to register, please email me at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it



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