CORDIO Blog


Red Sea whales and dolphins

A rare glimpse into the world of the Red Sea’s dolphins and whales Bottlenose dolphins, are very coastal and subsist on small fish connected to reefs and smaller bays. Shutterstock David Obura, The University of Queensland The Red Sea is one of the world’s least studied regions when it comes […]


Ocean Awards 2018

    David Obura is one of four finalists in the 2018 Ocean Awards, a competition run by Boat International and the Blue Marine Foundation. In it’s third year, the Ocean Awards continue to recognise and reward those that share our commitment to fixing the largest solvable problem on the […]


2017 status report on Western Indian Ocean coral reefs

Step declines in coral reef health resulted from major coral bleaching in 1998 (25% loss) and 2016 (10% loss). This is the main finding from the latest GCRMN regional report on the state of coral reefs of the Western Indian Ocean (WIO) which was officially presented on 7 December 2017 […]


WIO commitments and scenarios for SDG14

This week in Maputo, countries and partners in the Northern Mozambique Channel initiative have re-grouped to identify future pathways for implementing SDG14 in the Western Indian Ocean. See this press release on the event from WWF Madagascar. The process started at the Preparatory Workshop to the UN Ocean Conference in […]


Refilling the coral reef glass

David Obura’s editorial in the 22 Sept 2017 issue of Science magazine ‘is the coral reef glass half full, or half empty?’ emphasizes what we need to do to save and then rebuild coral reefs, rather than give up on them. Go to the Science issue page here, to read […]


Kenya’s blue economy – what now?

What Kenya’s government can do to protect, and benefit from, ocean resources . Kenya earns around USD$2.5 billion per year from its ocean – less than 4% of its GDP. This shows the potential for growth which could raise peoples’ incomes in coming years. But it won’t happen unless damaging […]


Managing Coastal Pelagics: Kenya’s Ring Net Fishery

Small-scale fisheries play an important role in food security and income of coastal communities worldwide, particularly in developing countries. Balancing sustainability and conservation concerns with the socioeconomic needs of small-scale fishers is a dilemma that is commonly faced by fisheries managers.Perspectives on use of ring nets is mixed among different […]


Film: Locally Managed Marine Areas in Africa

CORDIO has been working with Kenyan underwater videographer Jahawi Bertolli to produce a short 9-minute introductory film on Locally Managed Marine Areas (LMMAs). The film, dubbed “LMMAs in Africa”, explains why LMMAs are beneficial to coastal communities, how they are established and exactly what they are. It is designed for local fishing communities, donors, government and civil society who […]


Community resource management – a new wave in Djibouti

The scorching sun beating down over Djibouti town meant that we were in for four days of sweat from 21st – 24th May 2017. It hardly rains in this part of the world and given summer was just a stone throw away, Joan Kawaka and myself from CORDIO, Houssein Rayaleh […]


The devastation of coral bleaching

This was the part of the workshop that I was most looking forward to, as the idea of diving in the Seychelles was very exciting. I had envisaged this underwater paradise with biodiversity and colour a-plenty. Unfortunately, the reality was quite different.


GCRMN-GOOS Webinar

See the webinar given on 7 March by David Obura on strengthening global coral reef monitoring and reporting to meet global conservation and development needs. This was given as part of the GOOS webinar series.


GEO Handbook on Biodiversity Monitoring Networks

CORDIO participated in the publication of a new global standard on biodiversity monitoring networks, through our long term participation in the Global Coral Reef Monitoring Network (GCRMN), IUCN’s Coral Specialist Group, the Marine Biodiversity Observation Network of GEOBON and the Global Ocean Observing System’s Biodiversity and Ecosystems Panel (GOOS BioEco).


Campaign to re-route the Standard Gauge Railway outside Nairobi National Park garners support from the coast

On Saturday 29th October, more than 400 people along the coast of Kenya gathered to object to the government’s decision to route phase-2A of the Standard Gauge Railway (SGR) project through the middle of the Nairobi National Park. CORDIO East Africa’s commitment to national environmental conservation continued as its staff […]


Bleaching response WIO 2016

Over 70 organizations and individuals responded to the coral bleaching event in 2016 in the Western Indian Ocean, reporting 680 observations of through an online reporting form. Dr. David Obura and Mishal Gudka of CORDIO East Africa (CORDIO EA), supported through the Biodiversity Project of the Indian Ocean Commission, present […]


CORDIO participates in the 31st Anniversary of the International Coastal Cleanup organised by Ocean Conservancy

The third Saturday of September is marked as International Coastal Cleanup day. On 17th September 2016 a number of local organisations coordinated several beach clean ups along the Kenyan coast to contribute towards this Ocean Conservancy initiative. (Read more on previous events/anniversaries here) As a build up to the event, […]


Coral reef fisheries in Kenya declining

Our research recently published in the Journal Fisheries Research shows Kenya’s coral reef fishery catch rates have declined 4-fold since the mid 1980s and species diversity in catches has declined to 2-3 species in the top 65% bracket. Management changes are proposed to ensure these fisheries continue to provide livelihoods […]


Demystification of Marine Ecosystem Services

Understanding the ocean’s benefits.A video conveying an indication of the ecosystem services approach to understanding the marine environment and why this may offer an innovative approach to valuing the goods and services that the ocean provides as well as appreciating the impact these (Ecosystem services) have on our lives and […]


Second International Indian Ocean Expedition (IIOE-2): Kenya’s commitment

Second International Indian Ocean Expedition (IIOE-2) “to advance our understanding of the Indian Ocean and its role in the Earth System in order to enable informed decisions in support of sustainable development and the well-being of humankind” The Second International Indian Ocean Expedition (IIOE-2) is a major global scientific program […]


Mayotte bleaching 2016

Mayotte’s 4th major bleaching event in 4 decades … and the reefs are showing a mirror to the social turmoil and changes that the island is going through.  The expedition was planned for just after the peak of thermal stress in the region, which occurred during March/April 2016.    


GCRMN strengthening 2017-2020.

In 2017-2020 a programme is proposed under ICRI to strengthen the Global Coral Reef Monitoring Network (GCRMN). The process will implement standards developed under the Global Ocean Observing System and GEOBON’s Working Group 5 on Oceans. Click on the below links to access Parts A and B of the questionnaire. […]


Vamizi – Cradle of Coral

This film by renowned photographer Mattias Klum will showcase the island of Vamizi, in the Quirimbas Archipelago of northern Mozambique, as the iconic coral reef and marine site that it is. See the trailer and wait for the movie to be released later this year! CORDIO’s David Obura features in […]


Status Reports

In our first decade (1999-2008) CORDIO produced bound volumes as Status Reports of coral reef health, written by national and research partners from across the Western Indian Ocean. These historical documents are available below.


Blue in Focus – Southeast Asia

Steve Taylor’s video documentary travels to the other side of the Indian Ocean to see where seafood caught in East Africa goes to, and the state reefs there as well. These two promos take us to Hong Kong, the center of the global seafood trade, and the beautiful reefs of […]


CORDIO’s new Advisory Board

CORDIO is delighted to announce its new Advisory Board. Three highly experienced, dynamic and committed marine conservationists join CORDIO’s Directors in guiding the organization for the next 4 years: Mr Ali Kaka (Kenya), Professor Peter Sale (Canada), and Mr Paul Rose (UK). They will play a key role as ambassadors, […]


Sustainable Ocean Initiative (SOI) Capacity Building Workshop for East Africa, Nosy-Be Madagascar 18-22 January 2016.

By: James Mbugua Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) through the Sustainable Ocean Initiative (SOI) held a five day workshop in Madagascar from the 18th -22nd Jan 2016. The SOI aims at providing support towards the utilization of Marine Spatial Planning (MSP) as a tool or an integrated approach that will […]


Prospects for World Heritage marine sites in the Arctic Region

  On 25 and 26 February 2016, scientific experts convened at UNESCO Headquarters in Paris, France, to discuss potential  for  World Heritage marine sites in the Arctic. The meeting was part of a new project led by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN), and the New York-based Natural Resources […]


Second Training Course on Mangrove Ecosystems of the Western Indian Ocean Region, from 17 – 28th May 2016.

Wetlands International is happy to announce that Applications are now open for the SECOND TRAINING COURSE ON MANGROVE ECOSYSTEMS OF THE THE WESTERN INDIAN OCEAN REGION to be held at the Centre of Marine Sciences, Moana, University of Nairobi Diani, Kenya from 17 – 28th May 2016. The first course, supported by the […]


Blue in Focus – East Africa

Steve Taylor’s video documentaries of Africa’s pressing people and environmental issues are now turning to the sea. Blue in Focus is a new documentary series on our planet’s rapidly disappearing marine biodiversity and will take two years to complete.  


CORDIO Staff Team Building 2015

As a common saying goes “all work with no play makes Jack a dull boy”. CORDIO staff sought to wrap up the year in style. The team of scientists and administrators delved into what some might term as uncharted territories of the marine world with sole mission of conquering the […]


Our Sea Our Life Project update – December 2015

We are working in Cabo Delgado, northern Mozambique, to assess the status of coral reefs to provide current measures of biodiversity and the status of vulnerable species. OSOL recently released a video describing the project: One of the big issues the project is dealing with is the use of mosquito […]


NMC Initiative at 9th WIOMSA Scientific Symposium

The Northern Mozambique Channel initiative made a mark at the 9th Western Indian Ocean Marine Science Association (WIOMSA) Symposium with representation of Dr. David Obura (CORDIO East Africa), Mr. Harifidy Ralison (WWF-Madagascar), Mr. Dresy Lavosoa (WWF-Madagascar) among others. The 9th WIOMSA Symposium was held at the prestigious Wild Coast Sun […]


WIO bleaching in 2016 – what to expect?

2015 has already been marked as the hottest year on record, and this is after 2014 having been a near-record year and the last five years being the hottest ever. These are in contrast to 1998, which was the year when Indian Ocean corals bleached and suffered mass mortality. Associated […]


Hot and bothered – the Northern Mozambique Channel

Unrestrained growth in emissions is a symptom of our appetite for growth – in population levels, consumption patterns and fossil fuel-mediated technologies. Climate change and the transgressing of multiple planetary boundaries, with human society requiring 1.5 planet earths today, are the defining issues that we face in the Anthropocene. My […]


Call for decisive action on climate change from WIO scientist community

On behalf of the entire Western Indian Ocean Scientific Community and the friends of WIO region, we, a community of 500 coastal and marine scientists working in the Western Indian Ocean, meeting at the 9th biennial Scientific Symposium of the Western Indian Ocean Marine Science Association (www.wiomsa.org) make this Declaration […]