So far in 2019, the Kwanini Foundation has managed to launch themselves on all of the big social media channels – Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. We hope to use these channels to raise awareness of projects we are working on, the survey work we undertake, facts about both marine and terrestrial life around Pemba Island and many more updates. Use the links below to check out each of our social media pages, come say hello and give us a like or follow!
Looking ahead to the rest of 2019, we are sure it will be a big year for the Kwanini Foundation.
Continuous water quality data is still being collected with our monitoring device that is attached to The Manta Resort’s Underwater Room (find out more about the Oceanography programme here). Going forwards we are hoping to start weekly temperature testing of the sea within the Kwanini Marine Protected Area (MPA). We will also be installing temperature loggers at depth intervals in the MPA to obtain a temperature profile. The data collected will help us map the trends of water temperatures and enable us to keep an eye on any significant changes. Seawater temperature is a very important factor for the growth and survival of coral reefs.
Speaking of coral reefs, survey season kicks off again very soon in April. Coral growth, settlement and recruitment surveys will be the first surveys completed this year. Underwater visual fish surveys, using a diver counting key species, will be undertaken alongside the coral surveys to help provide additional information about the areas of reef surveyed. Once the surveys are underway, we will give a more detailed update on what exactly it is we are doing, so keep an eye on social media for a sneak peak!
We are anticipating that in July, our full fish monitoring program will start. This will involve using two cameras on a special underwater rig to record the sections of the reef we will be surveying using this footage along with specialist software to count the fish. For any one survey, Kwanini will be able to show the video recordings and data of every fish single fish on the reef during the time of the surveys. This data will be used to undertake a direct comparison of the fish populations inside the Kwanini MPA against similar areas outside of the MPA.
Another continuous program that we also be launching this year is our Citizen Science Program. This involves asking guests who are diving with The Manta Resort to use their GoPro or other underwater cameras to film a 25-meter section of reef, focusing on either fish or coral. We will be uploading a new Project Page on the Citizen Science Program very soon with more details, and how you can get involved if you are visiting Pemba.
It is also looking like the Kwanini Foundation will implement our first community-based project this year too, funded by the Snorkelling for Conservation Programme. A small donation is kindly requested from every guest who partakes in our ‘Snorkelling for Conservation’ programme within the Kwanini MPA. The donations are used to fund community-based projects which are implemented through an established governance programme. The local communities are able to apply for funding for projects that will benefit the wider community, from the monies collected from the snorkelling programme. Whilst no set project has been decided yet, we have received two applications for projects which will be put to the Kwanini Foundation’s Executive Committee and we could soon see the start of our first community partnership project! This will be a huge milestone and a very exciting moment for everyone involved in the Kwanini Foundation.
So here is hoping to a hard-working and successful 2019!
If you are interested in donating to the Kwanini Foundation please send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information or donate online via the link at the bottom of this article.