July 6, 2023
The Lau Seascape Initiative (LSI) is a program that focuses on the conservation and protection of marine ecosystem resources in the Lau region of Fiji. With multiple stresses such as climate change and overharvesting of coastal fisheries, the Indigenous peoples of Lau, in conjunction with the NGO Conservation International, have joined together to create a roadmap for protecting Lau’s biodiversity and ecosystems while in tandem with promoting sustainable development solutions for the local stakeholders.
One of the goals of this program was to bring together scientists, traditional leaders, government officials, and the people of Lau for the LSI Planning Retreat. The retreat took place in early March of this year in Suva, Fiji’s capital city. I was asked by Conservation International to speak to the LSI group about past work conducted in Lau by The Khaled bin Sultan Living Oceans Foundation (KSLOF) as well our future work with our in-country conservation partner the Pacific Blue Foundation. The title of my presentation Reefs of Lau Province: Past, Present, and Future, explains local, regional, and global context for status of the Lau reefs and what new technologies and methods KSLOF is helping refine for sustainable coral reef management…
December 14, 2022
With compelling evidence that we have lost half of the world’s tropical coral reefs over the last few decades, there is an urgent need to understand their overall health. Without this basic information to use as a baseline, it is near impossible to mount a response to the so-called global reef crisis. The most straightforward method we have for monitoring reefs is conducting SCUBA diver surveys. However, this type of field work is logistically and financially challenging to execute on large scales, so developing a new method to monitor reefs remotely is key.
In attempt to find a solution, Anna Bakker combines the fields of remote sensing, computer science, and ecology to measure reef health from space. Recently, Anna published a paper in Coral Reefs, which utilized the Living Oceans Foundation’s Global Reef Expedition field dataset to build a model that can predict coral cover and other metrics of coral reef health using open-source satellite data.
September 13, 2022
Earlier this year, the Khaled bin Sultan Living Oceans Foundation joined Dr. Ved Chirayath on a research mission to survey and map coral reefs in Lana’i, Hawaii. Chirayath leads the University of Miami’s Rosenstiel School of Marine, Atmospheric, and Earth Science’s Aircraft Center for Earth Studies (ACES), and has pioneered a new approach to mapping reefs using drones equipped with fluid lensing technology.
Fluid lensing harnesses the unique power of waves to magnify and concentrate light on the seafloor, essentially allowing users to see through the water and map the seafloor in stunning detail…