For the past two weeks, Nature Seychelles’ Reef Rescuers team stayed on Felicity Island to initiate a coral reef restoration project in partnership with the 5-star resort Six Senses Zil Pasyon. This 18-months project aims at restoring the coral population of Anse Péniche located on the North West side of Felicity Island within Coco Island National Park. This reef experienced widespread coral mortality during the 2016 coral-bleaching event and is showing no signs of natural recovery.
INSIDE SEYCHELLES, Issue 7, October 2017: When visiting the Seychelles you may want to spend your holiday lounging or sunbathing on the stunning white sandy beaches; or perhaps you are the more aquatic type into diving or snorkelling and want to enjoy the underwater beauty; maybe you are into fishing for pleasure or sport. Whichever of these brings you to this 115-island-strong archipelago, they are all dependent on coral reefs, healthy coral reefs.
Spreading from the western Pacific, the lethal heat wave associated to the 2015/17 El Niño hit the western Indian Ocean around February 2016. Here in the Seychelles, the water temperature averaged 30°C for four consecutive months, peaking over 31°C on some days!
Nature Seychelles’ Reef Rescuers team was recently invited to collaborate with the Island Resort Six Senses Zil Pasyon and conduct a feasibility assessment. The main objective of this survey was to see if we could implement a Coral Garden Project within the Marine Protected Area (MPA) of Félicité Island.
It can be difficult to tear oneself away from infants for an extended period of time, but the much needed R&R from their constant daily demands can make the homecoming gratifying. Nature Seychelles’ Reef Rescuers team Louise Malaisé and Austin Laing-Herbert had to temporarily leave their underwater coral family to spend time with their real families over the festive season. Louise, the Technical & Scientific Officer tells us about the worries they had on leaving, how keen they were to get back to their coral nurseries and what they found on their return.
A Report from Nature Seychelles’ International Volunteer Program
I arrived on Praslin and was met by two volunteers who showed me to the dorms at Nature Seychelles’ Island Conservation Centre and who helped me settle in. I then met Nature Seychelles’ Reef Rescuers team the next day - Louise and Austin.
Doing population controls of coral predators to assist recovery on reefs impacted by the 2016 mass coral bleaching event. A total of 790 corallivore snails (Drupella spp.) were removed from the Reef Rescuers transplanted site in Cousin Island Special reserve.
Another 28 corallivore starfishes (Crown-of-Thorns) were injected with lethal doses of vinegar on the resilient reef of Trompeuse.
by Louise Malaisé, Technical & Scientific Officer, Reef Rescuers