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A Global Protocol for Assessment and Monitoring of Coral Bleaching

A Global Protocol for Assessment and Monitoring of Coral BleachingDuration: 2004
Publication:
Oliver, J, P. Marshall, N. Setiasih and L. Hansen, 2004.
A global protocol for assessment and monitoing of coral bleaching. WorldFish Center, Penang, Malaysia and WWF Indonesia, Jakarta. 35 p


WWF Indonesia, WWF International, The Great Barrier Reef Authority, and the WorldFish Center (ReefBase Project) developed the Global Protocol for Assessment and Monitoring of Coral Bleaching. This standard protocol will facilitate collection of high quality data, and when applied widely, it will facilitate comparison between studies and sites. This will also serve the ongoing development of the ReefBase global database on coral bleaching events.

The protocol was developed in response to the rising incidence of coral bleaching. Large scale coral bleaching and subsequent coral death have struck coral reefs across the tropics numerous times during the past two decades, with over 60 local or regional events recorded since 1980. In 1998, coral bleaching happened around the world, with 80% of corals killed in some regions. In 2002, widespread global bleaching occurred again.

There is a pressing need to assess the global threat to coral reefs from global bleaching events and to determine the level of damage and rate of recovery and adaptation, which subsequently occurs. More reliable data based on observations and measurements collected in a consistent structured manner across the globe are urgently needed to properly assess the bleaching threat, analyze the spatial and temporal trends in bleaching, and devise strategies to reduce its impacts.

Coral bleaching monitoring data is essential to better understand the impacts of global warming, and in developing management strategies that will increase reef (resistance and resilience) while continuously working to mitigate the root causes of global warming.

The partnership between The WorldFish Center and WWF is an example of how joint efforts between scientific research agencies and conservation organization are becoming increasingly important in solving problems of resources management, sustainable production and improving livelihoods.
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