What is CoralWatch?
CoralWatch integrates coral reef education and global reef monitoring. Using the Coral Health Chart volunteers from around the globe can monitor reefs and contribute to our global coral bleaching database.
What are coral's?
Corals are living animals related to jellyfish! A single animal is called a coral polp. Most corals form colonies , containing thousands of polyps. There are more than 800 species of coral worldwide. Tiny algae, called zooxanthellae, live within the cells of the coral. Zooxanthellae make energy from sunlight, using photosynthesis. This is why corals need sunlight and clean water. Zooxanthellae provide the oral with colour, and the energy they to grow.
Why are corals so important?
Corals provide a home for fish and other marine creatures. Healthy reefs provide food for millions of people. Reefs help to protect coastal land from cyclones and storm surges. Healthy reefs also support local economies, providing employment from tourism, fishing and many ther industries.
How healthy are our reefs?
More than one third of reefs around the world have been lost! This is why it is important to protect the reefs we have left. Overfishing can remove the fish that help the reef stay healthy. Sediment and pollution run-off from coastal land or from rivers can lead to poor water quality. Storm damage, pests, diseases, and global warming can also damage the health of reefs.
What is coral bleaching?
Coral bleaching is caused by increased sea temperatures or other stressful conditions. When stressed, corals expel the algae living in their tissue (zooxanthellae). This makes the coral lighter in colour, and is called coral bleaching. Corals can recover from bleaching but if stressful conditions are severe, loss of algae and the nutrients they provide can lead to coral death.
What can you do to help!
Get involved in CoralWatch, we shall be monitoring the coral bleaching of our popular dive locations this year! Here is a list for our Uk dive trip's 2014
Plymouth-29th March/27th April/6th Sep
Lundy-24th May/13th July/30th Aug/21st Sep
Lyme Bay-2nd March/3rd Aug/4th Octo