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Marine conservation organizations team up to conduct Indonesia coral reefs assessment

>The survey outcomes will be incorporated into the Global Coral Reef Monitoring Network's (GCRMN) "Post-Tsunami Status of Coral Reefs Report" ? a special report in the "Status of Coral Reefs of the World" series, which provides the present state of coral reef health around the world. The complete status report will be released in early 2006.

"It is extremely important to determine the status of the reefs in order to predict future food availability from the sea in this area," said Reef Check Director Gregor Hodgson, Ph.D., who will be coordinating the two-week expedition. "This disaster presents a great opportunity to reinforce the concepts of marine management in Indonesia and to ensure that sufficient reef areas are protected such that fish and shellfish can prosper and reproduce."

Shipboard expedition participants include: British marine biologist Annelise Hagan, Ph.D., the Khaled bin Sultan Living Oceans Foundation Research Fellow at Cambridge Coastal Research Unit, Department of Geography, University of Cambridge, United Kingdom; Sri Lankan marine biologist Nishan Perera of IUCN; Reef Check Indonesia ichthyologist Yunaldi, M.D.; dive instructor Cipto Gunawan; a diving medical doctor Onny M.D.; and two seasoned Aceh-based Reef Check scientists.

The October survey will use rapid survey techniques called "manta tows" with detailed Reef Check Plus surveys carried out at regular intervals. A manta tow involves towing a diver behind a boat while they record observations regarding ecological condition on an underwater slate. The Reef Check survey is the only standard method used to survey the world's reefs. Initial surveys in the region conducted by Reef Check and other marine conservation organizations have revealed varying levels of reef damage, with some reefs being entirely uplifted out of the sea and destroyed.


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Source:Khaled bin Sultan Living Oceans Foundation


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