Month-long coral reef research in Fiji
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June 28th, 2013
LANDOVER, MD. – The Khaled bin Sultan Living Oceans Foundation has wrapped up a month-long coral reef research expedition in Fiji. Travelling onboard the research ship M/Y Golden Shadow as part of the Foundation’s Global Reef Expedition the marine scientists have been collecting data underwater on reefs round Totoya, Moala, Vanua Vatu, Fulaga, and Kabara among many others as part of the Fiji coral reef research mission.
While it will take many months to write up full scientific reports there are some initial findings of the Fiji coral reef research. Of note is that many of the corals are under threat from coral eating snails. Chief scientist of the Foundation, and leader of the scientific research, Dr. Andrew Bruckner said. “Snail predation is the most significant and widespread threat we have seen to the reefs in Lau Province, and the problem might be caused by human activities, such as fishing”
The Fiji coral reef research team included several Fijian participants and Fisheries officer William Saladrau collected data on sea cucumber harvesting and found that numbers were low. He states “We are finding less than one sea cucumber per hectare, this shows that there is overfishing of sea cucumbers across the Lau Province…