CORAL REEF HEALTH
RAINFORESTS OF THE SEA
Coral reefs are the most diverse of all marine ecosystems, supporting over 25% of all marine life though covering less than 1% of the Earth’s surface!
A reef is a submerged hard bottom built by coral animals with a calcium carbonate skeleton (limestone). The fundamental building block of the reef ecosystem is the coral, so it is coral that we need to understand and protect – all the other reef animals depend on them!
The Conflict Islands are proud to be the host of some of the most diverse reefs in the world. Conservation International conducted a Rapid Biodiversity Assessment in 1997 which documented the biodiversity of the Conflict Island Atoll. It revealed extensive areas of coral coverage and significant species diversity being an average of 220 species of fish per site, higher than the Great Barrier Reef and it also identified other species completely new to science.
CUSTODIANSOF THE SEA
Given the nature of this special and ecologically important area of the Conflict Islands in Milne Bay, we have a responsibility to manage, protect and monitor the health of this living ecosystem. To do do we have a Coral Reef Health Monitoring Program that carries out surveys to monitor different threats and impacts, natural and anthropological.
Mostly a band of diseased tissue separating the living tissue from the exposed skeleton.
When corals are stressed, they expel the symbiotic algae causing them to turn completely white
Crown of thorn starfish and drupella snails
Corals down to 20m depth may be broken over turned and removed that take years to recover