The big question: Was there any coral bleaching over the past few months in the Maldives? With the world in a global pandemic focusing on what is happening above water, has given us the chance and time to investigate what is happening underwater!
We were going out once a week to document some corals and help in citizen science with the organization Coral Watch. Earlier this year, unfortunately Australia got pretty hot both above and below water. The great barrier reef was hit with yet another major bleaching event affecting a lot of the remaining corals. With this we decided to watch ours.
A couple of months ago we started watching 13 different corals on our house reef. The selection included branching, boulder and soft corals all at different depths. We used the Coral Watch coral health card to see if there was any significant change in these corals. Unfortunately, we did witness some coral bleaching along the reef. The waters did get very warm, even up to 34 degrees within the lagoon!. The monitored corals however did not show any significant bleaching!
Maybe this is due to the changing monsoon, as we are coming into the South Easterly season meaning that the waters are experiencing more mixing, less stagnate water means that it doesn’t allow the temperatures to rise too high. As the resort closed due to the pandemic, some of our team members left. Short of staff we were unable to keep up the routine of the checks. Once we are all back again it will be interesting to see what has happened to the corals.
Coral Watch is a global organisation that allows anyone to help out and provide data! You can collect data while diving or snorkelling. All you need to do is head to their website and order your free coral health card, jump in the water collect some data and upload it.