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OCC members can help monitor status of world coral reefs

by Daria Blackwell 10 Oct 13:07 PDT
The Allen Coral Atlas © Ocean Cruising Club

The Sixth Status of Corals of the World 2020 report is the first since 2008, and the first based on the quantitative analysis of a global dataset contributed by more than 300 members of the network.

Coral reefs occur in more than 100 countries and territories and whilst they cover only 0.2% of the seafloor, they support at least 25% of marine species and underpin the safety, coastal protection, wellbeing, food and economic security of hundreds of millions of people. It is one of the most vulnerable ecologic systems on earth, subject to global threats from climate change and ocean acidification, and local impacts from land-based pollution such as nutrients and sediments from agriculture, pollution, overfishing and destructive fishing practices.

The Global Coral Reef Monitoring Network (GCRMN) is an operational network of the International Coral Reef Initiative (ICRI) that aims to provide the best available scientific information on the status of and trends in coral reef ecosystems for their conservation and management. The GCRMN is a global network of scientists, managers and organisations that monitor the condition of coral reefs throughout the world through 10 regional nodes.

Maintaining the integrity and resilience of coral reef ecosystems is essential for the wellbeing of tropical coastal communities worldwide, and a critical part of the solution for achieving the Sustainable Development Goals under the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

The Executive Summary, Global Analysis and Regional Chapters are now all available to download here. The global dataset spanned more than 40 years from 1978 to 2019 and consisted of almost 2 million observations from more than 12,000 sites in 73 reef-bearing countries.

The new GCRMN World Coral Reef Status report sends a message of hope ahead of COP26: It is possible to reverse the loss of coral reefs. To turn the tide, we must take immediate action.

Leveraging tools like Allen Coral Atlas has never been more critical. We urge OCC members to join forces with the scientists and report what they see as they cruise.

New! Beta bleaching detection data

These data are in the beta stage and will require feedback. If you know of bleaching in your area, please engage with the Coral Atlas! Email with feedback. Low, moderate, and severe bleaching are determined by the length of time an area remains bleached.

OCC members are among the most adventurous sailors in the world. Now we have a tool to report some of what we encounter and make a difference.

More information at NOAA Coral Reef Watch.

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