Friday, 13 November 2015

GIF staff training at GVI Cap Ternay

Jennifer surveying coral recruitment
From August to November 2015 our Project Manager Jennifer attended an intensive marine monitoring training at the Global Vision International (GVI) base at Cap Ternay. During these 3 months Jennifer dived on some of the most beautiful reefs on Mahe learning how to survey coral, encountered endangered turtles, reef sharks and countless rays, was involved in several community outreach activities and made friends from all over the world!

Cap Ternay reef
GVI is an international volunteer program carrying out conservation and community development programs worldwide. In Seychelles, they are based on Curieuse Island and at Cap Ternay, and operate under the direction and at the request of the Seychelles National Parks Authority (SNPA). GVI Cap Ternay offers a Marine Expedition program which involves coral reef monitoring training and several other conservation-related surveys aimed at providing data to SNPA. GVI funds and enables local nationals to participate in this expedition and receive training through a National Scholarship program.

Jennifer participating in the Crown of Thorns

During her stay at GVI Cap Ternay, Jennifer obtained several qualifications such as the PADI Advanced Open Water Certificate and PADI Emergency First Response First Aid course. She got trained on how to identify coral genera and how to survey coral recruitment. Jennifer also got the opportunity to learn about the newly developed crown-of-thorns starfish control methodology and participated in the eradication program.

In addition to the training, GVI Cap Ternay raises awareness and educates children on marine conservation but also help out the local community. Jennifer participated in numerous activities such as the weekly marine biology session with the International School. During one of those sessions, GVI in collaboration with GIF concentrated on sharks and their importance in the sea. Other outreach activities Jennifer was involved in included playing in-water games and snorkeling with children from the President's Village and taking part in beach clean-up the with other local NGO's.

Marine biology session with the International School

Lemon shark pups in the bay
According to Jennifer, the most exciting moments during the training was spotting a Whitetip reef shark or encountering a Hawksbill turtle on a dive, or just watching the Lemon shark pups swimming around in the shallows. Jennifer's training coincided with the Lemon shark pupping season and mangroves of Baie Ternay is a renowned pupping grounds for this species.

Staying at GVI Cap Ternay also involves making friends with volunteers from different places around the world. "Volunteering at GVI Cap Ternay has been truly an amazing experience. It has definitely increased my knowledge and understanding of marine ecosystems, but most of all my love for the sea and dedication to marine conservation. Thank you GVI for an unforgettable experience!" 

GVI Cap Ternay volunteers and staff

A big thank you to GVI Seychelles and partner for offering this valuable program which contributes to building local capacity and environmental conservation in the Seychelles. 

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