Corals of the Western Indian Ocean Still at Risk



Project Manager, GIS & RS

Read our 2023 coral bleaching forecast for the Western Indian Ocean.

The protracted La Niña phase that started in 2020 provided a haven for corals of the Western Indian Ocean (WIO). No significant bleaching was reported between 2020 and 2022 as a result. This haven is now diminishing as La Niña gradually comes to an end, El Niño and its characteristic warmer temperatures to take over.

A Cause for Alarm

As noted above, the last few years have been a bit cooler, but the next few years will be warmer on top of the 1-2°C rise in average global temperature above baseline measurements.  Past mortality may have weeded out weaker corals, leaving behind a resilient cohort well-prepared for the coming season, at least for the short-term. Long-term, including the next two years, runaway warming could occasion high levels of bleaching and coral mortality. As we venture into 2023, temperatures across most of the WIO basin are already 1-2° C warmer than baseline averages from 1985-1990. Meanwhile, the seasonal outlook (bottom right) predicts moderate to high bleaching in the southern WIO, with greater than 60%. 

Our Committment and Call to Action

We all have a collective responsibility to protect coral reefs.  At CORDIO East Africa, we will continue monitoring the current situation and issue bi-weekly coral bleaching alerts over the next couple of months.

Feel free to reach out to us at or with any questions or to volunteer to be part of our coral bleaching observation team.

For our experienced partners, we encourage you to continue submitting observations on coral bleaching at this online reporting form.



On Key

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