Coral reef data collection expedition

Introduction

The main objective of this expedition is to gather data relating to factors that determine the health of coral reef systems in the various oceans across the globe. As a result, the expedition will focus on the major factors that contribute towards the degradation of coral reef systems (Dubinsky 104). The Reef Check, a volunteer organization established during 1996 with the main objectives of educating the public and governments regarding the importance of coral reefs and the major crises that are serving as a barrier towards the sustenance of coral reef ecosystem. In order to reinforce local action aimed at protecting the existing coral reef ecosystems and engage in a rehabilitation strategy of the damaged coral reefs, Reef Checks needs to have some data in order to encourage the local community to encourage the local and global communities to protect the existing coral reefs. This expedition aims at collecting the data that will help the Reef Check in meeting its goals and objectives.

Major points

A ship will be acquired for navigation in the various oceans around the world. The expedition will require 150 members and will be conducted over a time scale of 3 months. The expedition will tour around the Arctic Ocean, Indian Ocean, Pacific Ocean, Atlantic Oceans and the Southern Ocean. Additional equipments are needed to facilitate the collection of coral reef data relating to their bleaching, this will mostly entail an assessment of the extent of the degradation of existing coral reefs (International Center for Living Aquatic Resources Management 25). The number of damaged coral reefs will also be recorded. The equipment needed to facilitate the coral reef sampling through random swim will include air tanks, high tech fins and protective scuba diving gear. The main methods that will be used to collect the data will include the use of photography and video footages of the selected sites in the various oceans to offer qualitative and quantitative data. For sites that are deep, Manta Tows and video towed divers will be used in addition to scuba diving.

This expedition will gather data related to the extent and the type of coral bleaching and coral disease. Physical parameters such as temperature, salinity, quality of water and visibility will be recorded. This will be matched against the extent of coral bleaching. As a result, the expedition will use of the measurements of the physical surrounding of the coral reefs to determine the extent to which the variables contribute towards the bleaching of the coral reefs. For the data to be relevant and significant, a team of 50 members will be assigned to collect socio-economic data in order to have an understanding of human interaction with the coral reefs. This will gather information relating to the number of fishers and their specific fishing locations and the underlying perceptions of the local communities towards the management and conservation of coral reefs (Isabelle and Reynolds 78). The following table will be used to record some of the quantitative data after analysis of the photography and video coverage.

parameters Indian Ocean Pacific Ocean Arctic Ocean Atlantic Ocean Southern Ocean
Extent of fishing          
Extent of coral reef bleaching          
Average temperature          
Average salinity          
Quality of water          
visibility          

 

The oceanographic significance of this expedition is that it can offer various qualitative and quantitative variables that can be used to assess the extent of damage of the coral reef ecosystems in the globe. On a narrower perspective, the data collected in this expedition will be helpful in analyzing how human interaction with the coral reefs contributes to their degradation. Therefore, this expedition will make significant contributions towards the conservation of the coral reef ecosystem (Pernetta 45).

Comments

            This assignment was helpful in understanding the human factors contributing towards the degradation of oceanic biosphere, especially the coral reef ecosystem. It was established that human factors contribute significantly toward the bleaching of the coral reefs. As such, the Reef Check can use the obtained data as evidence to reinforce the conservation of coral reef ecosystems in the various oceans across the globe

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