Page 14: of Marine Technology Magazine (November 2020)

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Palau’s Coral Reefs: A Jewel of the Ocean

The latest report from the Khaled of ? ve years, KSLOF’s Global Reef KSLOF and one of the report’s authors. bin Sultan Living Oceans Foundation Expedition circumnavigated the globe “It indicates a robust benthic coral reef ? nds Palau’s reefs had the highest coral collecting baseline data on coral reefs community with high coral cover and cover observed on the Global Reef Ex- to address the coral reef crisis. species diversity.” pedition—the largest coral reef survey In 2015, the Global Reef Expedition These coral reefs have likely ben- and map-ping expedition in history. came to Palau, where an international e? ted from Palau’s efforts to conserve

Scientists at the Khaled bin Sultan team of scientists and local experts their natural marine heritage. Palau has

Living Oceans Foundation (KSLOF) spent nearly a month at sea surveying a long history of marine conservation. have released their ? ndings on the state coral reefs in ten states across the coun- Key is the traditional policy of “bul”— of coral reefs in Palau. Their research, try. Working together, they conducted a moratorium on catching particular based on extensive underwater surveys, over 1,800 standardized surveys of the species or ? shing on certain reefs to found Palau’s reefs had the highest live benthic and ? sh communities on coral protect habitats that are critical to the coral cover of all the reefs studied on reefs in Palau. commu-nity’s food security.

the Global Reef Expedition, a scienti? c They found Palau’s coral communi- Conservation of the country’s reefs research mission to assess the health ties to be in excellent condition com- was further boosted in 2015 by the and resiliency of coral reefs around the pared to other reefs in the re-gion. The establishment of the Palau Na-tional world. The Global Reef Expedition: average live coral cover recorded in Marine Sanctuary, which delivered one

The Republic of Palau Final Report Palau was over 45% and reached 60 or of the world’s largest protected areas of summarizes the Foundation’s research 70% in some ma-rine protected areas. ocean. “Unsur-prisingly, this longterm on the status of coral reefs and reef This coral cover is very high, even commitment to marine conservation ? sh in Palau and provides conservation among the world’s best coral reefs. has delivered some of the most vibrant recommendations that can help pre- “Palau’s coral cover is truly ex-cep- reefs the Foundation encountered on serve these outstanding coral reefs for tional,” said Alexandra Dempsey, the its Global Reef Expedition,” said Dr. generations to come. Over the course Director of Science Management at Sam Purkis, KSLOF’s Chief Scientist

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