Help Is at Hand to Rapidly Monitor Coral Reefs and Bleaching Events

News 01 Jun 2024 by Haley Williams
Today for World Reef Day, MERMAID and partners are launching a new training video to help scientists rapidly monitor the world's Fourth Global Coral Bleaching Event
Watch our step-by-step guide to perform rapid bleaching survey and how to input it into MERMAID.

June 1, 2024 – As climate change causes increasingly intense marine heatwaves, corals are bleaching the world over. Just last month, NOAA and ICRI partnered to announce the world is experiencing its 4th global coral bleaching event, and to sound a call for rapid action to track bleaching and keep a pulse on the health of our coral reefs.

Today, a new training video from MERMAID, the Coral Reef Rescue Initiative, WCS, and WWF is launching to help researchers adopt a rapid method for monitoring coral reefs and real-time bleaching events underwater. The rapid assessment method helps communities, researchers and scientists learn how to monitor coral reefs and bleaching quickly, and then how to upload that bleaching data into the open-source web platform MERMAID.

“This past year, more than half of the world’s coral reefs have been exposed to extreme heat stress. But how many of these reefs have bleached? Which have survived? Which have recovered? These questions can only be answered through underwater coral reef monitoring. Adopting standardized methodologies and platforms, like MERMAID’s Rapid Assessment protocol, is critical to rapidly scale up how scientists measure the real-world impacts of climate change on the biodiversity, functioning and ecological integrity of coral reefs. We hope this training video helps all scientists accelerate the identification of climate-resilient coral reefs as priorities for conservation,” says Dr Emily Darling, WCS Director of Coral Reef Conservation and Co-Founder of MERMAID.

“Knowledge is power in the fight to protect coral reefs around the globe. This Rapid Bleaching Assessment video is a tool coral reef communities, researchers and scientists can use to track coral bleaching events and add data to help us identify specific reefs that have exhibited resilience to marine heatwaves and can help in the future to re-seed damaged coral reefs.,” says Carol Phua, Coral Reef Rescue Initiative Lead.

To learn more about what leading coral conservation organizations
are doing #ForCoral, visit: MERMAID, CRRI, WCS, WWF