Updates & Media

The devastating effects of a…

March 19, 2020

Scientists on the expedition collect crown of thonrs starfish to limit the damage of the COTS outbreak

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While conducting coral reef surveys in the Cook Islands, scientists were shocked to see the ongoing devastating effects of a Crown-of-Thorns-Starfish (COTS) outbreak. On the reefs surrounding the island of Aitutaki, over 80 percent of the live coral community was …

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Traditional Māori conservation methods…

March 11, 2020

Communities in the Cook Islands use traditional community management to manage their coral reefs

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Communities in the Cook Islands have turned to traditional Māori conservation methods, such as ra’ui, to protect their reefs and nearshore fisheries. In a ra’ui, chiefs and community leaders set aside an area for conservation where regulations are agreed upon and implemented by the communities. Ra’uis have been recognized as a locally managed coastal conservation method that protects coral reef areas to prevent overfishing or destruction of the reefs.

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The Global Reef Expedition: Cook…

March 5, 2020

Cook Islands Final Report Cover

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The Khaled bin Sultan Living Oceans Foundation has published our latest findings from the Global Reef Expedition. Released today, the Global Reef Expedition: Cook Islands Final Report contains critical information on the health and resiliency of coral reef ecosystems in …

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The Khaled bin Sultan Living Oceans…

March 4, 2020

The Global Reef Expedition: Cook Islands Final Report An assessment of coral reef health and resiliency in the Cook Islands The Khaled bin Sultan Living Oceans Foundation (KSLOF) has published their latest findings from the Global Reef Expedition—the largest coral …

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Global Reef Expedition: Cook Islands…

March 4, 2020

Cook Islands Final Report

The Khaled bin Sultan Living Oceans Foundation embarked on the Global Reef Expedition—the largest coral reef survey and mapping expedition in history—to study the coral reef crisis on a global scale. As part of the 5-year expedition, an international team …

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Big Corals, Little Fish: A survey of…

February 26, 2020

Science team member posing over Porites coral heads 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.

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A Leap in Time for the Ocean - A guest…

February 19, 2020

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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.

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Making the Grade: How we grade coral…

February 12, 2020

A scientist on the GRE conducts a benthic survey

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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.

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Tonga, Fishing for the Future

February 5, 2020

Tongan fishing boats

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While our scientists were hard at work studying the Kingdom of Tonga’s coral reefs on the Global Reef Expedition, the education team was on land teaching students and communities about this valuable ecosystem and what they can do to protect it. In return, we learned valuable local knowledge from the communities and the people of Tonga.

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Global Reef Expedition: Findings from…

January 29, 2020

Global Reef Expedition: Kingdom of Tonga Final Report

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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 …

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