Friday, November 2, 2012

Coral Conservation in Kosrae

We spent two wonderful days in Kosrae, where the coral reefs were simply beautiful.  Before we arrived, we learned from local divers and government officials about efforts to conserve the reefs.  First, the local community has installed moorings to protect the corals all the way around the island, so no one has to put anchors directly on the reef.  In addition, each year people from all over the world come to Kosrae to conduct reef monitoring surveys and measure the abundance and diversity of corals and fish.  These efforts have clearly had an impact, as the reefs were full of vibrant corals of every description, and also had a large number of both reef fish and pelagic (open water) fish.  We also saw many sea turtles and one octopus (who was trying to hide in a big coral while we were sampling it).  Our coral disease experts gave a seminar to the local community, including dive operators, marine resource managers and village elders, to teach them how to recognize coral diseases, so they can add this information to their annual reef survey.  Kosrae is really a special place, where everyone works together to preserve and protect their beautiful environment, above and below the water.  As usual in Micronesia, it's all done with a smile! 


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