Reef Monitoring Project with Green Fins!
Blue View Divers were lucky enough to be invited by Green Fins to help survey coral reefs here on Koh Phi Phi! Divemaster Trainee Panda, Beth and myself (Blue!) were asked to join the dive to collect data on the local reefs, and how the effects of global warming are changing the face of coral reefs as we know it.
The most common yet unfortunate change is Coral Bleaching. Coral bleaching is the response to stress due to pollution run off, sudden increase in water temperature, over fishing (creates an increase in zoo plankton levels, which then causes oxygen starvation) and water chemistry – closely linked with the non biodegradable solutions found in sun screen.
Due to the stress corals will expel the algae (zooxanthellae) living in their tissues causing the coral to turn completely white. Here is a picture I took whilst i was collecting data.
You can clearly see the bleaching effects starting to take place, which is sad to see happening in our own reefs. However as we were able to collect this data it can then be used to calculate future “outbreaks” so that we can then determine how to make our diving practices and the reefs more sustainable, so that other divers can enjoy them as much as I do in years to come!
We plan to continue to gather data for Green Fins on a more regular basis and stay involved in this very important ‘Citzen Science’ Project. If you are inspired to help the worlds coral as much as I am then feel free to get involved, below are some links from Green Fins and Coral Watch Programs!
Blue Norris, Blue View Divers Conservation Officer
Method How to use the Coral Health Chart. Choose a random coral. Look down at the coral and select the lightest area, avoiding the tips of branching corals.
Monitoring of the socio-economic impacts/benefits of coral reefs has been noted as a common and urgent need in the SE Asian region.