Pre-bleaching baseline surveys completed in Male’ atoll
Marine Research Centre (MRC), International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) and Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), collaborating under Project Regenerate, have completed pre-bleaching surveys to prepare for the predicted coral bleaching in the Maldives.
Long-term coral monitoring sites of MRC located in South Male Atoll: Emboodhoo Finolhu, and North Male Atoll: Udafushi and Bandos House Reef were surveyed for coral cover and health between 13th March and 20th March.
Two methods were employed to conduct benthic surveys. In the first, three replicate detailed belt transects of 10 m by 1 m were surveyed and the bleaching status of coral genera was recorded. In the second method, three 50 m transects were surveyed and the benthic category (including the bleaching status of any coral observed) which intercepts transect every 0.5 m was recorded. Surveys were conducted at 5 and 10 m depth. Initial survey data collected indicates slight discoloration of some genera of corals, and they are predicted to bleach severely in coming weeks. MRC collaborating with IUCN has been preparing for this predicted bleaching from last year and conducted two workshops in June and December to train citizen scientists.
How can you contribute?
If you want to contribute in data collection you can download protocols from here for option A- Detailed belt transect or option B- simplified point intercept or send a private message on Facebook or twitter of Marine Research Centre or IUCN Maldives.
If you need additional help and assistance on data collection you can contact following people.
Senior Research Officer
Marine Research Centre
Citizen Science Project Officer