Big Corals, Little Fish: A survey of coral reef fish in Tonga

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As a marine scientist, visiting the Kingdom of Tonga to study the coral reefs was a treat. We observed so many beautiful marine animals and habitats that were unlike anywhere else on the Global Reef Expedition. One of my favorite sites was in Vava’u where there were massive Porites corals the size of cars that dwarfed the divers. It was incredible.

However, what I found most surprising was the fish communities.

A Leap in Time for the Ocean – A guest blog from our partners at the Vava’u Environmental Protection Association

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In Tonga, there has been lots of effort between communities, government, national, and international partners to implement ocean management programs that aim to restore and conserve marine species and the marine habitats as well as provide livelihood benefits.

Our partners at the Vava’u Environmental Protection Association (VEPA), have continued to focus on awareness and community programs, supporting the launch of the Vava’u Ocean Initiative in 2017 with the Waitt Institute, Department of Environment, Ministry of Fisheries and Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources to further support ocean management and conservation programs. Through this partnership, VEPA supported the development and implementation of 7 Specially Managed Areas (SMAs) in Vava’u and the national consultations for marine spatial planning (MSP) alongside Government partners.

Making the Grade: How we grade coral reefs

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The Khaled bin Sultan Living Oceans Foundation recently published our findings on the health and resilience of the coral reefs in the Kingdom of Tonga. The report includes a unique grading scale we developed to indicate the relative health and resilience of the reef. For each survey site we visited in Tonga, we assessed the benthic community and classified the reef as being in “good,” moderate,” or “poor” condition.

This assessment was based on the overall live coral cover, algae, and invertebrate composition of the reef.

Global Reef Expedition: Findings from the Kingdom of Tonga

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The Khaled bin Sultan Living Oceans Foundation has published our findings from extensive coral reef surveys conducted in the Kingdom of Tonga. Released today, the Global Reef Expedition: Kingdom of Tonga Final Report contains critical information on the health and resiliency …