Coral reefs of Tobago serve crucial ecosystem services that sustain our way of life. Our coral reefs are rich in biodiversity and support our fisheries and tourism industries, as well as protect our coastline.
Unfortunately, reefs have degraded significantly over the last fifty years as a result of disease, pollution, unregulated fishing, and coral bleaching. The Institute of Marine Affairs has been monitoring Tobago’s coral reef health for the last ten years, since the 2010 bleaching event and evidence has shown little to no recovery of hard coral cover. With the looming threat of climate change, there is an urgent need to assess the coral reefs for resilience – ability to recover from or resist a disturbance. Metrics of resilience include factors such as the abundance of stress-tolerant corals that are more likely to resist thermal stress events or the presence of herbivores on the reef that will assist in the recovery of corals.
The IMA used monitoring surveys carried out into 2019 and 2020 to assess the Coral Reef Resilience Index for each site. The Resilience Indices were then overlaid onto coral bleaching predictions for Tobago to determine the overall vulnerability of our coral reefs to climate change related thermal stress events. Outputs will guide us on specific methods for management and restoration of coral reefs around the island.
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Meeting ID: 648 553 7652