The coral reefs of the Seychelles are some of the most diverse in the Indian Ocean, but heavily degraded after the 2016 bleaching event. NGO's & the Seychelles National Parks Authority are working towards protecting & restoring the reefs. Continuous monitoring by skilled divers is crucial in assessing the reefs recovery & the recovery of their associated species. Skilled divers are necessary to conduct surveys & gather the data required to monitor & implement adequate management strategies.
Seychelles have lost up to 90% of their coral cover and with most livelihoods in coastal areas are heavily dependent on the health of the reefs, making is crucial to protect them. Partnering with the SMA, the staff will pick the top students & recommend them for being granted their Open Water certification through the Trust. Enabling these students to gain their entry level dive qualification would open doors for them with a variety of local organisations that are running marine programs.
Covering the cost of their Open Water certificate, they can be taken on as scholars as part of our National Scholarship Program here at Cap Ternay. The main reason that people do not apply for the NSP program is the fact that they aren't certified divers & cannot afford the cost. When joining us, they would advance as SCUBA divers gaining their AOW certification, making them a PADI coral reef research divers (CRRD).
This project would enable local individuals to fully participate in Marine Conservation and find an employer, helping them with their monitoring program. It would create fully qualified SCUBA divers that know underwater survey methods and can start work with local bodies and start surveying reefs.