Welcome to the Marine Mammal and wildlife Research and Community Development Expedition blog where you can keep up to date with all the happenings and information from Kenya

Monday, February 22, 2010

Under the Sea

Reefs are the dominant habitat around tropical shorelines, considered the Rain Forest of the Sea, being highly productive due to the efficient recycling of nutrients and the high levels of biodiversity they support. Coral Reefs are found throughout tropical waters where water temperatures are in a range of 20-30C. The diversity of coral species provides a vast array of microhabitats, refuges and food sources for a high diversity of other marine organisms. Coral Reefs are thought to support ne third of all living fish species.
It is estimated that 10% of Coral Reefs have been degraded beyond recovery by human activities. From the information gathered in the last STATUS OF THE CORAL REEFS OF THE WORLD: 2008, in Eastern Africa 15% of the Reefs are considered effectively lost and are unlikely to recover soon.

Region Eastern Africa
coral Reef Area km2 6800
Effectively Lost Reefs (%) 15
Reefs at Critical stage (%) 22
Reef at Threatened stage (%) 28
Reef at Low threat stage (%) 35
Taken from Status of the Coral Reefs of the World 2008

The major threats concerning this ecosystem include:
· The Indian Ocean Earthquake and Tsunamis of 2004
· Plagues and Diseases
· Continuing human stress on Coral Reefs
· Global Climate Change

The Kisite Marine Park in Southern Coast Kenya is the biggest marine park in Kenya, with 28 kilometers square and still holds a very important Coral Reef Ecosystem. Every day GVI marine team snorkels the area (we have currently three snorkeling transects around Kisite Island) trying to record and photograph the marine biodiversity and trying to access marine turtles habitat distribution. As overall project objective, we hope to improve the scientific basis for the management of KMMPA (Kisite Mpunguti Marine Protected Area) by KWS (Kenya Wildlife Society) and identify potential conservation issues that should be addressed through management action and research.

Fred, Conservation Intern and Jodie, Marine Staff, look at pictures taken underwater after the snorkeling transect

Snorkelling in this Rain forest of the Sea and witness the beauty and amazing biodiversity, colors, shapes and perfect equilibrium of this fragile ecosystem, is a privilege and leaves no one indifferent to the importance of its protection and conservation. Enjoy these photos taken over the last two weeks!
Clockise, Star puffer fish Arothron stellatus, Clearfin Lionfish Pterois radiate, Guineafowl Pufferfish Arothron meleagris, Blue triggerfish Pseudobalistes fuscus Clockise, Striped Surgeonfish Acanthurus lineatus, Morish Idol Zanthus cornutus, Semicircle Angelfish Pomacanthus semicirculatus, Yellow boxfish Ostracion cubicusClockise, Brown marbled grouper Epinephelus fuscoguttatus, Blackspotted Moray Gymnothorax favagineus, Bluespine unicornfish Naso unicornis, Coral Reefs, PowderBlue Surgeon fish Acanthurus Surgeonfish


Dad said...

HI Jodie!!!
Suddenly i remember what you look like!!