Scientific Collaboration on the Global Reef Expedition

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To better understand the plight of coral reefs, The Khaled bin Sultan Living Oceans Foundation (KSLOF) launched the Global Reef Expedition (GRE), a 10-year research mission that circumnavigated the globe to address the coral reef crisis. And while the GRE trek covered over 53,000 km, perhaps the most impressive number is the hundreds of scientists, community leaders, government officials, educators, documentary filmmakers, and photographers who surveyed, mapped, and documented over 1,000 reefs in the Atlantic, Pacific, and Indian Ocean as well as the Red Sea.

The GRE also embodied the philosophy of Science Without Borders. In each country we were invited to work in, we brought an international team of scientists together with local leaders, conservationists, government officials, and subject matter experts to assess the state of the reefs. These local representatives provided invaluable knowledge and helped us share our findings with local communities. This philosophy allowed us to leverage the resources, commitment, and ideas necessary to make substantial progress to protect and preserve coral reefs.

Survey of the World’s Reefs Reveals the Extent of the Coral Reef Crisis

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Today, after spending ten years assessing the state of coral reefs around the world, the Khaled bin Sultan Living Oceans Foundation has released a comprehensive report of our findings from the Global Reef Expedition. The Global Reef Expedition Final Report provides valuable baseline data on the status of the world’s reefs at a critical point in time and offers key insights into how to save coral reefs in a rapidly changing world.

Both natural and man-made factors have contributed to a precipitous decline in coral reefs as coastal development, pollution, disease, severe storms, and climate change have all impacted the health of coral reefs. As oceans continue to warm, and massive coral bleaching events occur with increasing frequency and severity, coral reefs are struggling to survive. Scientists estimate that half of the world’s coral reefs have been lost in the last 40 years. Coral reefs are clearly in crisis. How do we save the reefs that remain before it is too late?

The Khaled bin Sultan Living Oceans Foundation embarked on the Global Reef Expedition to address this coral reef crisis. This research mission brought together hundreds of scientists from around the world to conduct tens of thousands of standardized scientific surveys at over 1,000 reefs in 16 countries. The Expedition traveled around the globe surveying and mapping coral reefs, from the Red Sea through the Atlantic, Pacific, and Indian Oceans. Scientists on the research mission worked closely with local experts, managers, educators, and government officials to help the Foundation collect the data needed to develop science-based solutions to conservation.

Will fewer sharks impact the food web on the Great Barrier Reef?

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Shark populations are dwindling worldwide, and scientists are concerned that the decline could trigger a cascade of impacts that hurt coral reefs. But a new paper published in Ecology suggests that the effects of shark losses are unlikely to reverberate throughout the marine …