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Kuwait Dive Team partners with Queensland University in coral reef protection program

Project monitors over 1,200 coral reef sites worldwide

KUWAIT: In these file photos, Kuwait Dive Team members carry out operations at coral reefs in Kuwait including cleaning and inspecting the spread of bleaching. — KUNA

KUWAIT: Kuwait Dive Team of the Volunteer Environmental Foundation stressed yesterday the importance of strengthening international relations and environmental visits with various bodies and specialized centers in the field of the protection of coral reef and beaches.
Team leader Walid Al-Fadil said that the team visited recently the Coral Watch Center at the University of Queensland, Australia, and become acquainted with the global project ‘Coral Watch’ in which Kuwait is a partner represented by the Kuwait Dive Team.

1,200 sites
Fadil added that such a large environmental project monitors more than 1,200 sites of coral reefs in the seas and oceans of the world and also serves researchers and professionals concerned with changes affecting coral reef environment.
He explained that the center chose the Kuwaiti Dive Team as the first global partner in the ‘ambassadors of coral reef protection program’ based on its efforts over the past years in the field of control and the protection of coral reef, pointing out that the center also nominated the Kuwaiti team to attend a workshop on monitoring coral reef to be held by the University of Queensland in the middle of this year.
He said that the visit also included participation in cleaning of the Lilleys coast in the city of Gladstone, east of Australia, that was organized by the ‘Conservation Volunteers’ in the regional sector of the city during which several remnants were removed from the coast, in addition to becoming acquainted with the Australian expertise in the control and cleaning of beaches as well as encouraging civil society to pay more attention to beaches. He added that the mission was a success, thanks to the cooperation of Linda Fahle, Gladstone Regional Manager of ‘Conservation Volunteers’, Australia.

Distinctive experience
Fadil noted that the team was able to carry out a distinctive scientific experience through its stay for three days in the Heron Island Nature Reserve, which lies 60 kilometers east of Gladstone, one of the best natural reserves in the world for the availability of the distinct bio-diversity of birds, turtles, sea creatures, fish and coral reefs.
He reported that the island contains a scientific research center affiliated to the University of Queensland, which was founded in 1951 and is one of the largest research centers in the world. He also indicated that the team was able to dive in the Great Reef and documented the diversity of other sea creatures in pictures and movies.

He said that the team also monitored a case of a limited bleaching of coral within the Coral Watch program and also participated in the environmental program on the island concerning study of turtles and following up hatching of their eggs and their access to the sea in peace as well as being able to save young turtles.
Fadil expressed gratitude to all those who made the visit a success topped by the Kuwait Foundation for the Advancement of Science (KFAS), stressing the continuation of its international activities in the field of marine and coastal environment protection and to identify the best ways to spread environmental awareness. – KUNA

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