Rare coral reef discovered near Tahiti is ‘like a work of art’, says diver

Early indications counsel that its depth has protected it from bleaching attributable to international warming.

“It was magical to witness big, stunning rose corals which stretch for so far as the attention can see. It was like a murals,” stated Alexis Rosenfeld, French photographer and founding father of the #1Ocean marketing campaign, who led the diving mission.

Buried treasure

The reef discover is extremely uncommon due to its deep location, because the overwhelming majority of the world’s recognized coral reefs solely descend to round 25 metres.

The rose-like corals measure as much as two metres in diameter and the reef itself is between 30 metres and 65 metres huge.

“This discovery means that there are a lot of extra giant reefs on the market, at depths of greater than 30 metres, in what is called the ocean’s ‘twilight zone’, which we merely have no idea about,” stated UNESCO, the UN scientific, academic and cultural organisation.

Hailing the “unbelievable work” of scientists who suspected that there is likely to be a spectacular coral reef off the coast of Tahiti, UNESCO Director Common Audrey Azoulay famous that solely 20 per cent of the complete seabed has been mapped. 

“We all know the floor of the moon higher than the deep ocean,” she stated. “This outstanding discovery in Tahiti demonstrates the unbelievable work of scientists who, with the help of UNESCO, additional the extent of our data about what lies beneath.”

Leap into the deep

The expedition which made the invention was a part of UNESCO’s ocean mapping initiative.

Discovering coral reefs of this dimension is important as a result of they’re an necessary meals supply for different organisms and as such can assist analysis round biodiversity.

Organisms that reside on reefs may also be necessary for medicinal analysis, whereas from the perspective of sustainability, reefs can present safety from coastal erosion and even tsunamis.

“French Polynesia suffered a big bleaching occasion again in 2019, nevertheless this reef doesn’t seem to have been considerably affected,” stated Dr. Laetitia Hedouin from France’s Nationwide Centre of Scientific Analysis (CNRS) and the environmental analysis physique CRIOBE, who was current on the mission.

One of the largest coral reefs in the world off the coast of Tahiti, French Polynesia.

© Alexis Rosenfeld

One of many largest coral reefs on this planet off the coast of Tahiti, French Polynesia.

‘Pristine situation’

“The invention of this reef in such a pristine situation is sweet information and might encourage future conservation. We expect that deeper reefs could also be higher protected against international warming.”

Till now only a few scientists have been in a position to find, examine and research coral reefs at depths of greater than 30 metres. Nonetheless, advances in know-how have meant that longer dives at these depths at the moment are attainable.

In whole the workforce carried out dives totalling round 200 hours to check the reef, and have been in a position to witness the coral spawning. Additional dives are deliberate within the coming months to proceed investigations across the reef.

Motion for the ocean

UNESCO is the UN company in command of ocean analysis. Its Intergovernmental Oceanographic Fee, based in 1960, which entails 150 international locations, coordinates international programmes reminiscent of ocean mapping and a tsunami alert system, together with quite a few scientific analysis tasks.

The company can be the guardian of distinctive ocean locations, by way of 232 marine biosphere reserves and 50 marine World Heritage sites of Excellent Common Worth.

UNESCO leads the United Nations Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Growth, from 2021 to 2030, which this yr entails a number of main worldwide summits to amplify worldwide cooperation and motion.


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