(Paris) Scientists have discovered a large healthy pink-shaped coral reef more than 30 meters deep in Tahiti, an important discovery as coral reefs suffer from climate change.
Posted 11:10 pm
“It is one of the largest coral reefs in the world at a depth of more than 30 meters,” UNESCO said in a statement in support of the scientific mission. “The immaculate condition of the pink-shaped corals and the area they cover make it an extraordinary discovery,” UNESCO said.
The reef is three kilometers long and 30 and 65 meters wide, extending between 35 and 70 meters deep, UNESCO specifies. Some large corals are up to two meters in diameter.
“It simply came to our notice then. We are well aware of areas between zero and 30 meters, ”said Latitia Hedouin, a marine biologist and coral expert from the French CNRS research center and environmental research organization CRIOBE.
“These corals do not show any signs of stress or disease,” she continues, but corals close to the surface in French Polynesia experienced a bleaching episode in 2019. Starfish also destroy corals by devouring them.
The diving expedition took place in November 2021 and went so far due to specific diving equipment. “The team dived for a total of 200 hours to study the reef and was able to see the coral sprout,” UNESCO said.
Temperature sensors were placed in the area. To better understand why this coral reef is not visually affected by climate change and what its demographic dynamics are “we are at the beginning of a monitoring program that we hope will last a long time”.
The discovery also raises the question of “taking into account these deeper zones in the development of marine protected areas,” Latitia Hedouin emphasized.
The state of knowledge of the oceans is still limited, being only 20% of the planet’s seabed […] Mapped ”, UNESCO emphasized.