Hudson FEREMAITO

Hudson FEREMAITO

Vanuatu Fisheries Department, PMB 9045, Port Vila, Vanuatu

Coral reefs are the biggest and most spectacular structures made by living organisms. Although they look permanent and indestructible, what we see is the only a thin veneer of living organisms. Vanuatu’s coral reefs exhibit a range of characteristics expected of an archipelago including outer reefs, sheltered flats and lagoons, partially sheltered open embayment’s and sheltered embayments. Exposed coral reefs slopes and crests were dominated by coralline algae and robust plating and branching corals (W. Naviti, J.Aston, 2006). There was no recent up to date survey of coral reefs done in Vanuatu to comment on the current status of the corals in Vanuatu. However, there was one survey done in the last 3 years which included many areas of exceptional visual quality while others had various degrees of coral death and physical damage, probably as a result of cyclones, climate change (increasing of temperature & coral bleaching) and most of all the Crown of thorns starfish (COTs) which is one main issue damaging Vanuatu corals compared to climatic factors (Done & Navine, 1990). Therefore, there is need for more collaboration and partnership of all pacific island countries, stalk holders to improve coral reef management and come up with helpful approaches to minimise coral reef damage especially from situations such as high seawater temperatures, coral bleaching and most commonly the Crown of Thorns starfish.