What is Coral Watch?
- A non-profit organization, built on a research project at the University of Queensland in Brisbane, Australia.
- Aim: provide hands-on monitoring and education tool to increase awareness of reef threats and encourage behavior change towards a sustainable, low carbon future.
What is coral?
- Coral reefs are animals and fall under the phylum Cnidaria and the class Anthozoa. They can exist as individual polyps or in communities. Coral reefs are found in more than 100 countries. Coral reefs cover and estimated 110,000 square miles. Corals are found throughout the oceans from deep, cold waters to shallow, tropical waters.
Why are coral reefs so important?
- Coral reefs provide shelter for a variety of marine species and shorelines and a valuable source of organisms for medicines. Coral reefs are one of the most valuable and diverse ecosystems on earth. They support more species per unit area than any other marine environment
How it is done?
- An easy DIY kit is used to monitor the local reefs
- The research tool is the Coral Health Chart.
- You take the chart and compare the different colors to the darkest color on the coral to the lightest color on the
- The colors are recorded and can then be further recorded on the coral watch website, to help obtain worldwide statistics on coral health
Who can help?
- Anyone who can snorkel/scuba down to a coral and notice the lightest and darkest color differences of the coral
Why is this important?
- To record and recognize global damage or restoration of corals.
What type of threats are there to coral reefs?
- Coral reefs are sensitive to changes in light, temperature, overfishing, damaging fishing practices, pollution, and excess sediment. Humans are the main threat to coral reefs, particularly from the destruction of mangrove forests.
- Coral bleaching: when corals are stressed by changes in conditions such as temperature, light, or nutrients they expel the zooxanthellea living within their tissues causing them to turn completely white. Corals can survive a bleaching event, but they are under more stress and are subject to mortality. Most coral bleaching is due to warm water temperatures, however, coral bleaching can also be from cold water temperatures.
We will be undertaking coral surveys once a week! Come join and be part of the team to protect our reefs!!