ICRI News

2015-10-15 04:43

A consortium of ocean scientists, reef mappers and community-based monitoring teams, including the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), XL Catlin Seaview Survey, The University of Queensland, and Reef Check, today confirmed a “global coral bleaching event” is underway. Increased ocean temperatures due to climate change, combined with the warming effects of an El Niño pattern and a Pacific warm water mass referred to as “The Blob”, are driving temperatures to record levels and threatening to severely deplete the coral reef ecosystems that support fish habitats, shoreline protection and coastal economies.

2015-09-30 05:43

During her visit to Saba and Bonaire, Dutch State Secretary of Economic Affairs, Mrs. Sharon Dijksma, opened the “Yarari” marine mammal and shark sanctuary. The populations of sharks worldwide are in sharp decline and therefore need extra protection against illegal fishing and bycatch in regulated fisheries. The local nature conservation and fisheries organizations will be involved in the protection. With this eleventh shark sanctuary in the world the Netherlands will actively protect sharks in the Caribbean Sea. The name of the Sanctuary “Yarari” is an Taíno Indian word, meaning ‘a fine place’

More sharks, more fish

2015-09-19 04:10

Populations of fish critical to human food security are in serious decline worldwide with some at risk of collapse according to the emergency edition of a WWF report released today. WWF’s Living Blue Planet Report finds that much of the activity threatening the ocean is avoidable and solutions do exist to turn the tide.

2015-09-12 11:57

NEW YORK (September 1, 2015)— A new study by WCS (Wildlife Conservation Society) has found that coral reef diversity ‘hotspots’ in the southwestern Indian Ocean rely more on the biomass of fish than where they are located, a conclusion that has major implications for management decisions to protect coral reef ecosystems.

2015-06-30 15:52

The 8th session of the Conference of the Parties (COP 8) to the Nairobi Convention for the Protection, Management and Development of the Marine and Coastal Environment of the Eastern African Region convened under the theme, "Conserving the Marine and Coastal Environment for the Western Indian Ocean for the next 30 Years."

2015-06-25 16:06

The Healthy Reefs for Healthy People Initiative (HRI) today released its 2015 Report Card for the Mesoamerican Reef, recording an improvement in reef health from ‘Poor’ in 2012 to ‘Fair’ this year, primarily due to increased fish biomass. The report is based on a new study of 248 coral reef sites along 1000 km of the Caribbean coasts of Mexico, Belize, Guatemala, and Honduras, which were monitored for living coral cover, fleshy macroalgal cover, herbivorous fish biomass (parrots and surgeonfish) and commercially important fish biomass (snappers and groupers). New this year to the Report Card is a collection of detailed indicator maps of coral reef condition on a variety of spatial scales.

2015-04-22 10:26

In a country plagued by extreme poverty and political instability, Jean Wiener led community efforts to establish the nation’s first Marine Protected Areas by empowering Haitians to see the long-term value in sustainably managing fisheries and mangrove forests. Haiti is home to an incredibly diverse array of marine life, housed in mangrove forests and coastal reefs. It is also the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere, with 80 percent of the population living in poverty. Natural disasters and political instability have further hampered the nation’s ability to create meaningful economic opportunities for its citizens.

2015-04-20 07:59

The CORAL Conservation Prize offers a unique opportunity to recognize outstanding leaders of reef conservation around the world. It aims to support worthwhile local coral reef conservation efforts, provide a platform to highlight coral reefs within the local, national, and international media and provide incentives for continued work in all regions of the world. Last year, we were thrilled to award Nyoman Sugiarta, a fisherman from Bali, the inaugural CORAL Conservation Prize.

2015-03-19 05:37

From 2002 to 2011, the Coral Reef InitiativeS for the Pacific (CRISP) project aimed to develop a vision for the future of coral reefs and the communities that depend on them and to introduce strategies and projects to conserve their biodiversity, while developing the economic and environmental services that they provide both locally and globally. Also, it was designed as a factor for integration between developed countries (Australia, New Zealand, Japan, USA), French overseas territories and Pacific Island developing countries.

2015-03-04 05:06

Albion February 26, 2015 - The Indian Ocean Commission (IOC) organized a regional workshop for exchanges and training on coral reef monitoring at Albion Fisheries Research Centre, Mauritius, from 24 to 26 February. The IOC-Biodiversity and IOC-ISLANDS projects funded by the European Union and the IOC project for the sustainable management of coastal zones (GDZC) funded by the French Global Environment Facility (FGEF) have together united their efforts to improve coral reefs monitoring capabilities of some forty scientists, technicians, administrators and NGO representatives who participated in the workshop.

2015-02-08 05:53

New York (February 3, 2015) – The Government of Madagascar has created the country’s first marine sanctuary for sharks as part of a new law to safeguard the country’s marine resources and the communities that rely on them, according to the Wildlife Conservation Society.

At a February 2nd press conference held in Antananarivo, Madagascar, the Malagasy government announced the initiation of a new law that establishes a shark sanctuary in Antongil Bay while granting coastal communities exclusive use and management rights for local fishing areas. The new law also restricts international fishing trawlers from fishing in Antongil Bay, the largest bay in Madagascar.

2015-01-19 11:32

Monaco — Ocean acidification poses a growing threat to coastal communities and needs to be on the agenda of any global climate deal, said speakers at a conference hosted by the IAEA this week. The three-day workshop, organized by the IAEA’s International Ocean Acidification Coordination Centre (OA-ICC) and the Scientific Centre of Monaco, aims to determine avenues for bringing ocean acidification forward as a dimension of a future climate deal. The participants are looking at the science of ocean acidification, the effects it has on communities and the actions policy makers can take to address it.

2015-01-12 06:15

Wakatobi, Indonesia, January 8, 2015 – A few years ago, Sudirman was a fisherman in Wakatobi, Sulawesi. He did not bring home enough income, so he took on part-time jobs.

Today, Sudirman owns a small ecotourism business, providing diving equipment and underwater guided tours for tourists. Life for him and his family is now much better.

“There were times before when we weren’t sure if we had enough food to eat. Now I can afford my children’s education needs, and more,” he said proudly.

2015-01-07 05:17

The Invasive Lionfish Webportal is intended to serve as a clearinghouse for all vetted invasive lionfish information and as a platform to promote discussion and inquiry. The authors of the Webportal, which include U.S. federal employees, non-profit managers, research scientists, state biologists, professors, and Ph.D. students, bring over 30 years of experience on the lionfish invasion.

The web portal provide much information and services that will be useful to coastal managers, researchers, educators, and the general public. Here are a few key features:

2014-11-06 11:59

November 4, 2014, Tela, Honduras - More than 60 marine conservation leaders from Mexico, Belize, Guatemala and Honduras gathered last week in Tela, Honduras to jointly develop the 2015 Mesoamerican Reef Report Card, which will be released in early 2015. Convened by the Healthy Reefs for Healthy People Initiative (HRI), this collaborative meeting was an opportunity for HRI partners to share regional data, reflect on conservation achievements and identify strategic measurable actions to advance conservation over the next two years.

2014-10-01 06:33

The world is losing its mangroves at a faster rate than global deforestation, the United Nations revealed today, adding that the destruction of the coastal habitats was costing billions in economic damages and impacting millions of lives.

In a new report launched today at the 16th Global Meeting of the Regional Seas Conventions and Action Plans, held in Athens, Greece, the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) warned that the deforestation of the planet’s mangroves was exceeding average global forest loss by a rate of three to five times, resulting in economic damages of up to $42 billion annually and exposing ecosystems and coastal habitats to an increased risk of devastation from climate change.

2014-09-23 06:24

The Secretariat of the UN Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) has released two reports on "Ecologically or Biological Significant Areas (EBSAs): Special places in the world's oceans," which describe areas that meet EBSA criteria from the Western South Pacific and from the Wider Caribbean and Western Mid-Atlantic. The reports identify ocean areas "that are most crucial to the health functioning of the global marine ecosystem," with the aim of identifying areas in which to focus and prioritize marine conservation and management.

2014-09-13 03:42

On Sunday 14th September, five species of sharks and two manta ray species received protection under the United Nation’s Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) when formal measures to regulate their international trade come into effect.

The five sharks and two manta rays species include Scalloped Hammerhead Shark Sphyrna lewini, Great Hammerhead Shark Sphyrna mokarran, Smooth Hammerhead Shark Sphyrna zygaena, Oceanic Whitetip Shark Carcharinus longimanus, Porbeagle Shark Lamna nasus and manta rays Manta spp.

All the sharks except Porbeagle are caught for their fins, which are exported to East Asia, especially Hong Kong, where they are the key ingredient in sharks-fin soup, an expensive, but popular delicacy.

2014-09-09 05:41

The Third International Conference on Small Island Developing States (SIDS) took place from 1-4 September 2014, in Apia, Samoa, on the theme of "The Sustainable Development of SIDS Through Genuine and Durable Partnerships." The Conference produced an outcome document, titled "SIDS Accelerated Modalities of Action (SAMOA) Pathway," which was negotiated during the preparatory process at UN Headquarters in New York, US, and adopted during the closing plenary.

2014-08-22 14:35

Tropical and small island developing States (SIDS) are most at risk from exposure and vulnerability to coastal hazards, according to ‘Coasts at Risk: An Assessment of Coastal Risks and the Role of Environmental Solutions.' The report uses an indicator-based approach to assess risks from exposure and vulnerability to coastal hazards and identifies where environmental degradation increases these risks. The report then considers how environmental solutions, such as conservation and restoration, can contribute to risk reduction and conservation goals.

2014-07-01 05:12

Most Caribbean coral reefs will disappear in 20 years if we don't restore the population of fish that eat seaweed, as Caribbean reefs are gradually getting smothered by algae. This is the message of the new report: Status and Trends of Caribbean Coral Reefs: 1970-2012 released today as the result of a three-year joint effort of the International Coral Reef Initiative’s (ICRI) Global Coral Reef Monitoring Network (GCRMN), the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN), and the United Nations Environmental Programme (UNEP).

2014-06-29 09:52

Washington, 27 June 2014 — The Global Environment Facility (GEF) through the World Bank has contributed US$7.2 million to the Caribbean Biodiversity Fund (CBF) to promote the conservation, protection, management and expansion of national protected area systems and other areas of biodiversity significance across the Eastern Caribbean region.

The marine and coastal resources of the Caribbean—its coral reefs, beaches, fisheries and mangroves—serve as an essential economic engine. However, unsustainable coastal development, climate change and overfishing, as well as land-based sources of sediment and pollution are negatively impacting the region’s marine and coastal ecosystems.

2014-06-12 04:34

Bonn, Germany, 11 June 2014 - Some of the world’s most endangered species, many of them migratory, are facing unprecedented threats from climate change, habitat destruction to overexploitation and pollution which has led to a number of new listing proposals for consideration at CMS COP 11 - a key international wildlife conference scheduled to take place 4-9 November 2014 in Quito, Ecuador.

2014-06-10 09:35

In celebration of the Coral Triangle today and for years to come, EcoAdapt and WWF present the Coral Triangle Climate Adaptation Marketplace. The Coral Triangle Climate Adaptation Marketplace is an online portal that aims to connect funding sources and climate adaptation projects in the Coral Triangle region.

"By linking projects to funds and funds to projects, the Marketplace contributes to the region by streamlining vital and often lacking information needed to develop climate change adaptation projects and create positive regional outcomes," said Dr. Lara Hansen, EcoAdapt Chief Scientist and Executive Director.

2014-06-03 02:54

The Global Environmental Facility (GEF) Council Meeting approved a US$10 million grant for the ‘Integrated Transboundary Ridges-to-Reef Management of the Mesoamerican Reef (MAR2R)' project. The project aims to ensure the reef's ecological integrity by scaling up a ridge to reef management approach and enhancing regional collaboration for its management.

The Mesoamerican Reef, which is found along the Caribbean coasts of Belize, Guatemala, Honduras and Mexico, is the largest transboundary reef in the world and is a highly biodiverse coastal-marine ecosystem, according to the GEF. The region also contains 400 hydrological systems and watersheds.