Held every four years, the ICRS is sanctioned by the International Society for Reef Studies (ISRS) and is the primary international meeting focused on coral reef science and management. The 13th Symposium, which was held in Hawaii, brought together around 2,500 coral reef scientists, policy makers and managers from different nations around the world to present the latest research findings, case histories and management activities, and to discuss the application of scientific knowledge to achieving coral reef sustainability.
Founded in 1980 and with over 800 members, ISRS is the largest society of reef scientists in the world. The main objective is to promote the production and dissemination of scientific knowledge and understanding of coral reefs, both living and fossil, for public benefit.
ADEX 2016 Conservation and Scuba360 Business Forum speaker, Judi Lowe was awarded best PhD Candidate Presentation from around 500 presentations at the event held in Hawaii. Judi’s research thesis is “Dive tourism and its impact on integrated coastal management and livelihoods for artisanal fishers”. Judi’s research shows that best practice dive tourism can contribute to the conservation of coral reefs and reduce destructive fishing and overfishing in less developed countries around the tropics. Judi’s model of sustainable dive tourism raises the importance of dive tourism as a private sector participant in the conservation of coral reefs.
Maarten De Brauwer, who was also an ADEX 2016 Conservation and Scuba360 Business forum speaker, received the award for best PhD poster presentation (those who don’t give talks submit posters and meet guests to talk about their research – giving the public the opportunity to ask researchers pressing questions face to face). Maarten’s research studies camouflaged critters that are crucial for muck dive tourism. He collaborates with universities and dive centres in Indonesia and Philippines to develop new methods to study these species, so we can protect them better in the future.