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Jan 11, 2018

Reef Still Fighting Coral Bleaching

The reef report card was released on Wednesday in Belize City. We reported on Belize’s two point eight grade average, which conservationists gave the country after extensive research conducted on its reef.  A total of three hundred and nineteen coral reef sites were studied along the coasts of Belize, Mexico, Guatemala and Honduras. The report shows that coral bleaching is still a problem area. The 2015 and 2016 studies showed that around twenty-one percent of corals bleached – which has been attributed to climate change. Director of Healthy Reefs Initiative, Doctor Melanie McField says that the coral bleaching study for 2017 is also of concern.

 

Melanie McField

Dr. Melanie McField, Director, Healthy Reefs Initiative

“Both years had bleaching, it was worst in 2016. It got up to almost half of the corals being affected by bleaching. So, that includes various levels – pale, partly bleached. We didn’t record mortality in these two events in 2015 and 2016. You can see the degree heating weeks for the first one for 2016, that was worse than 2015, but I just put up 2017 here to contrast that with you and look how hot it was; the red and orange is hot water that has been there for a while. So, definitely 2017 was a more strong hot water event.”

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