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Montserrat marine life on the mend, says Coral Cay Conservation

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Montserrat

Coral Cay Conservation Explore Montserrat’s Marine Exclusion Zone For The First Time In Nearly Two Decades

MontserratCoral Cay Conservation (CCC) has been operating a ridge to reef conservation project on the Caribbean Island of Montserrat since May 2013.  The work that has been done has been focused on the north of the island as the south has been designated an exclusion zone since the Soufrière Hills volcanic eruptions in 1995.

MontserratOn the 30th October CCC’s first team of divers ventured down to explore the exclusion zone after receiving special permission to explore the reefs from the Montserrat Volcano Observatory and Royal Montserrat Police Force.  This was an incredible opportunity to get the first glimpses of a reef that hasn’t been dived for nearly two decades.  The teams headed southeast of Bransby Point and conducted 4 separate dives.

Half of the teams encountered patch reefs during the dives, and what they saw was very encouraging for the state of the reefs around Montserrat.

MontserratNumerous fish spread over 22 families were recorded with sightings of commercially important Groupers and Barracuda as well as Garden Eels, Morays and Stingrays. There were also two large and very curious Almaco Jacks (Seriola rivoliana) spotted by CCC divers, and even a Hawksbill Turtle (Eretmochelys imbricata) was spotted.

In addition to the fish there were a range of colourful sponges  and numerous colonies of hard coral seen on the reefs, with several boulders of vulnerable Elliptical Star Coral (Dichocoenia stokesii) and various other star corals (Montastraea spp.) being recorded, too.

MontserratEncouragingly, no rubbish or coral damage was seen on the reef; however, there were several colonies of hard coral which had undergone bleaching.

MontserratThere was also a good range of invertebrate species present, including Long Spined Sea Urchins, numerous Gorgonians, Collector Urchins, Cushion Stars, Basket Stars and Queen Conch as well as a few Magnificent Urchins (Astropyga magnifica) on the beds of Midrib Seagrass (Halophila baillonis) surrounding the patches of reef.

Both of the dive teams who were deployed further away from the water off shore from the remnants of the pyroclastic flows in Plymouth encountered reef, while those deployed further southeast saw mostly seagrass and sand on the seabed.

CCC divers reported an exciting day’s diving which was very rewarding for everyone involved.  With a few more exploratory dives planned, CCC should hopefully soon be able to conduct surveys around the south side of the island to complement the ongoing surveys on Montserrat.

To find out how you could get involved in the project, visit www.coralcay.org.

News

And the 5 winners of our free tickets to this weekend’s Scuba.Digital Show competition are…

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We’d like to say a big thank you to all of you who entered our competition to win a free ticket to this weekend’s Scuba.Digital online dive show!

As usual, lots of you entered… but there can, of course, be only five winners!!

And those winners are…

  • Beth Carr from the USA
  • Steven Turnbull from the UK
  • Wendy Van Oosterwijck from Belgium
  • Eric Lim from Malaysia, and
  • David Polanik from the USA.

Congratulations to you all – your tickets will be on their way to you soon!

Not a winner this time? Don’t worry – there are plenty of other competitions running on Scubaverse.com right now. To see what other awesome prizes you could be in with a chance of winning, click here!

And if you didn’t win, be sure to get yourself a ticket and check out Scuba.Digital from tomorrow, 23rd October until Sunday 26th October 2020. See you there!

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Gear News

Gear Maintenance: Episode 1 Masks – Sponsored by Dive Rite (Watch Video)

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Everything you need to know to make your scuba diving mask last a lifetime! Welcome to Gear Maintenance!

If you want to support Divers Ready! (for free!) support our sponsor for this series of videos: Dive Rite

To enter to win the ES155 Mask from Dive Rite, you need to:

  1. Subscribe to Divers Ready! if you haven’t already: https://www.youtube.com/c/diversready?sub_confirmation=1
  2. Enter the contest here: https://gleam.io/LOgJt/dive-rite-es155-mask-giveaway

A scuba diving mask is a seemingly simple piece of kit, but there are things that can wrong with it. Proper care, cleaning and preventative maintenance will help you keep your scuba mask in the best condition for years and years. We’ve packed this video full of hints and tips covering storage, protection, cleaning, defogging and maintenance to help you protect the investment you’ve made in your dive equipment.

Oh, and here’s the soft case I recommend. (Yes, this is an affiliate link. Purchases made through this link m ay earn me a small commission at no additional cost to you.)

Mask case: https://amzn.to/35b6Avj

Good luck to everyone!

D.S.D.O

James


Subscribe here: http://bit.ly/DiversReady

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