reef tagged posts

Giant pristine coral reef discovered off Tahiti

Specialist underwater photographer Alexis Rosenfeld described seeing the giant reef as "magical"

Marine explorers have discovered a “pristine” 3km (2-mile) coral reef at depths of 30m (100ft) off the coast of Tahiti, French Polynesia. It is one of the largest discovered at that depth, says the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, which led the mission. Dr Julian Barbiere, from Unesco, said there were probably many more of these ecosystems “we just don’t know about”. 

“We should be working to map them and to protect them,” he said. 

Unesco director general Audrey Azoulay said the “remarkable” discovery extended our knowledge of “what lies beneath”. 

The reef was found in November, during a diving expedition to a depth known as the ocean’s “twilight zone” – part of a global seabed-mapping mission

Alexis Rosenfeld captures images and footage of the pristine reef

French underwater photographer Alexis Ros...

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Ultrasounds for coral reefs?

Coral reef

Scientists have tested a surprisingly cheap and effective way to assess the health of vulnerable coral reefs and to monitor threats on remote atolls: eavesdropping.

In a study, published Aug. 6, 2015 in Marine Ecology Progress Series, scientists at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) used low-cost autonomous underwater recorders over four months to collect “soundscapes” of reefs in in the U.S. Virgin Islands. They showed how the collective sound recordings of reef inhabitants painted vivid pictures of the reefs’ abundance and diversity.

In a second study, published the same day in Marine Pollution Bulletin, the researchers recorded boat noise — showing how it could mask vital sounds that organisms make to reproduce, feed, and find new homes...

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West Philippine sea in rough waters

Coral reef

In April 2013, poaching vessel F/V Min Long Yu destroyed 3,902 square meters of seabed in the Tubbataha Reefs. Ongoing reclamation in a half-dozen reefs has now obliterated 1.2 million square meters—310 times the damage wrought on Tubbataha.

Mechanical dredgers that cut, crush and compact corals have also stirred up sediments to smother adjoining reefs. This threatens the biological productivity of the West Philippine Sea—a spawning and feeding site for endangered sea turtles and high-value fish like tuna.

“A single square kilometer of healthy coral reef can generate 40 metric tonnes of seafood yearly. We have theoretically lost the ability to produce 48 metric tonnes year on year,” notes WWF-Philippines President and CEO Joel Palma...

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Coral reef in Sharm El-Sheikh at risk: Activists

Activists in Egypt

Residents of Hadaba in South Sinai’s Sharm El-Sheikh stood in front of cranes, bulldozers, and backhoes on 30 April, blocking them from resuming what they claim is the destruction of reefs on the Red Sea coastline. The cliff – which runs from Sharm El-Sheikh’s Aida and continues intermittently along the coastline until the Grand Azure Resort – is subject to collapse due to the discovery of cracks in nine sections of the cliff, activists say.

They allege that the governorate hired the Arab Contractors, an Egyptian construction and contracting company, to restore the cliff – but without public consultation or prior notification.

The community which gathered between 28-30 April to obstruct the construction say that the debris falling from heavy machinery will destroy the cliff’s re...

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