Recognizing the urgency and the need for a well-coordinated effort amongst many stakeholders to monitor the predicted coral bleaching across the Maldives this year, an Inter-Agency Task Force on Coral Bleaching has been formed with direct guidance from Minister of Fisheries and Agriculture, Dr. Mohamed Shainee.
The main task of the Task Force is to centralize and guide the nationwide data collection effort by coordinating with MRC and EPA. The Task Force will also, depending on the severity revealed by up to date nationwide data, provide timely advice on management actions to mitigate impacts of coral bleaching.
The first meeting of the Task Force was held on 17th March 2016, at the Ministry of Fisheries and Agriculture. These meetings are to be held regularly during the predicted coral bleaching window for the Maldives, which is expected to last until July this year.
Monitoring of coral bleaching
A citizen science program was initiated by MRC in June 2015, in collaboration with USAID supported Project REGENERATE implemented by IUCN, to prepare for the monitoring of predicted bleaching in the Maldives. Three training workshops have been conducted under this program up to the present date to collect quantifiable coral bleaching data using a standardized Bleaching Protocol through citizen scientists and marine biologists based at resorts.
As a result of the above mentioned efforts, MRC is currently receiving coral bleaching data from a number of trained individuals and organizations. The map below represents the locations where coral bleaching was reported to have been observed during each week since April.
If you have observed coral bleaching in your area, please report to our focal point Nizam Ibrahim (Senior Research Officer) at firstname.lastname@example.org. Coral Bleaching Protocol and Forms are available from the following link: http://mrc.gov.mv/en/forms/
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Last update: 16th May 2016
Data Sources: Collected via citizen scientists and marine biologists who reported coral bleaching to Marine Research Centre and USAID supported Project REGENERATE implemented by IUCN.
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