The Comoros islands are a poorly known volcanic chain of islands in between Mozambique and Madagascar in the ‘hotspot’ of coral reef biodiversity for the Western Indian Ocean
They still possess some beautiful areas of coral, but are highly threatened because of the combined effects of over-fishing, sedimentation from deforestation on land, coral mining and coral bleaching.
Also being a densely populated, developing island nation, there is an extremely high reliance on coral reef resources, meaning that marine conservation is essential for both the marine environment and the local population.
CORDIO sent an expedition to the smallest island, Mohéli, in late 2016 to assess the health and resilience of the reefs in the nation’s only MPA, Parc National de Mohéli (PNM). From this fieldwork we were able to determine and map the resilience and vulnerability of reefs in the park to climate change and human threats.
We found a range of reef conditions, including healthy-looking reefs offshore and resilient reefs inshore, but others that appeared to be very degraded.
Our findings indicate different vulnerabilities for the different reef conditions and provide crucial information to better advise the sustainable management of the reefs in this remote archipelago.
This information was provided to local park management in the form of management report just after the fieldwork, but now the work has been published in Marine Pollution Bulletin and is publicly available for other scientists and managers to draw from our results both in Comoros and elsewhere