This page has been established to support the monitoring of coral bleaching in the Indian Ocean. It provides access to resources developed through the support of the Indian Ocean Commission, the Reef Resilience Network, and CORDIO.
To report observations of coral bleaching go to the “Report coral bleaching” tab below.
Several materials are provided here, available under the tabs below.
A basic coral bleaching response plan is described in the webinar below, from the Reef Resilience network (www.reefresilience.org). Note that the sound starts after 1 minute!
The presentation below was used in the webinar – view it on slideshare. The approach is simplified from resources such as the Reef Managers Guide to Coral Bleaching, and examples from the Florida Reef Tract and the Great Barrier Reef. Further details on monitoring are provided in the adjacent tabs.
CORDIO has implemented a coral bleaching forecast for the Western Indian Ocean since 2009. The illustration at right shows five climatic regions based on variation in sea surface temperatures, varying from hottest/most variable (red) to coolest (green/blue). See the links below for detailed background and methods.
2015 was the hottest year ever recorded, and 2016 promises to be even hotter (see here and here). In addition, both El Nino and Indian Ocean dipole conditions were strongly positive leading up to and at the start of 2016. Coral bleaching has been widespread in the Caribbean and Pacific in late 2015. Coral bleaching in the Western Indian Ocean is expected to be very strong in 2016.[/su_column]
For further information on the alerts, please go to:
See these videos for a background on coral bleaching.
A guide to the most common monitoring techniques used in the region is presented here, in generic classes of ‘basic’, ‘intermediate’ and ‘high’ levels of detail. Most groups accessing this site may use the basic method, so support is oriented around those, but it can also be provided for the higher levels of effort on request. The manual is available in English and French.
The methods are summarized in the Bleaching Response Plan provided in the prior tab. For datasheets and guidance on analysis and submission of data go to the next tab.
See the publications below for additional guidance no monitoring coral bleaching.
Submit basic observations on coral bleaching through the google-form at this link , or in the embedded window below. For intermediate or advanced data (see manual in the previous tab), we will upload further materials, to be available here.
This simplified web-form has been set up to assist non-specialists in basic reporting of coral bleaching observations in the Indian Ocean. All data will be submitted to the global bleaching form supported by the NOAA Coral Reef Watch programme, summarized and made accessible on a WIO regional database under development.
INSTRUCTIONS FOR BASIC BLEACHING OBSERVATIONS
This takes only 15-20min dedicated to applying this method, which will provide us with a lot of information from many different sites:
- do a 5 minute timed swim and observe the ree.
- look at all the hard corals that can be seen and note their growth form (and if you can, main genera).
- estimate % of corals bleached in the area that you cover in 5 minutes and record severity of bleaching.
- if you have an underwater camera take 2-3 general images from the reef area,
plus 10 or more vertical images 1 m above substrate, separated by 2 or more meters
- if possible repeat the survey 4-5 times by moving along your reef
- record your observations on an underwater slate, then fill out the form at the link above, and submit your images for each survey
- if you can’t fill out everything, don’t worry and continue providing us
with the information you do have!
Thank you for assisting our regional coral bleaching reporting efforts!
The Reef Resilience Network (www.reefresilience.org/network) is providing support through the Indian Ocean Commission to promote monitoring of the 2016 coral bleaching event. Within the Western Indian Ocean network group on the forum (you can join to become a member, or view discussions as a non-member), a webinar will be provided on 14 January (9 AM East Africa Time) to give guidance on use of the materials provided here. The webinar will be recorded and is accessible from the forum and this link, and forum discussions will provided a searchable resource for anyone wanting to implement the monitoring methods.
See the youtube video below of a prior webinar from the reef resilience network on 10 November 2015, by Dr. Mark Eakin of NOAA Coral Reef Watch and Chris Bergh of TNC Florida. They discuss the bleaching outlook for the Southern Hemisphere this year and guidance for managers to better prepare and respond to bleaching events (1 hour).