Understanding the Basics of reef conservation
The Coral Corals are found in the oceans worldwide. They are the most diverse coral reef systems and are one of the most beautiful coral reefs you will ever see. They are delicate and unique creatures and have evolved to cope with human interference on their ecology. In fact they are not even native to this earth and have managed to thrive in a human dominated world. This is why the future of this planet is in their hands and they will not waste any time or energy to secure a secure future for themselves.
The Coral Sea is the largest tropical ocean on earth and is made up of more than three thousand islands. This makes it the most biodiverse place in the world. The Coral Sea has been given World Heritage status and is one of the most important natural areas on earth for coral conservation. The Survey of Coral Reefs is an inter-governmental body that surveys coral reefs around the world. It is mandated by the United Nations Environmental Program to monitor and preserve the reefs. The Coral Sea was listed in the Endangered Species List in 2021.
The main reason why these surveys are necessary is to save the coral as well as to understand its biological and ecological properties so that measures can be taken to protect it. It is because of this that they conduct surveys, make field trip and write reports about the different aspects of creefs that we know today. The members of this survey team have over twenty years of experience in marine life and have led teams to conserve the major coral reef systems of Australia, Caribbean, India, China, France, Norway, Thailand and USA. A large number of them have been involved in the conservation of Great Barrier Reef, Seychelles, Borneo, Hawaiian Islands, Gold Coast, Indonesia and Cayman Islands.
Surveys are conducted to collect data on the population structure, eco-systems, habitats, food web and their relationships with each other. For example, a particular area of the reef might have low productivity so the surveys will focus on finding out how many fish are present in that area. The objective of a comprehensive survey is to not only document the biological diversity but also to provide information on the ecosystems and marine food web including the chemical environment of the area.
Another objective of a comprehensive survey is to evaluate the threats that are posed to the richness of the local ecosystems and biodiversity. In most cases, a high level of biological diversity is necessary for the continuity of existence of different types of organisms in a system. These surveyors are the ones who take the measurements and write the reports based on their observations. The surveyors use a wide range of techniques in order to collect the data like plankton concentrations, density, abundance of fish, photos, ice crystal formations, etc.
One of the objectives of a creefs project is to document the richness and variety of marine life in different parts of the oceans. It should be noted that biodiversity is not just about the presence of different types of species but it is also important to evaluate the extent of their decline in a particular area. This is where the role of marine scientists become very important. They accumulate the specimens, identify the areas where the populations of species are very low and difficult to find, analyze the data obtained and document it for future reference. They also assist in maintaining the appropriate levels of productivity in marine systems. A successful survey has the ability to explain the importance of conservation efforts and to conserve the existing coral reefs.