January 10, 2012
Analysis of remote sensing images from satel- lites indicated that sea surface temperatures were increasing in early 2012 north of Madagas- car in the so-called WIO “coral triangle”. A task force was thus mobilised to undertake the sur- veys and sampling needed to assess the extent of coral bleaching in the affected area. Justin Hart from the Oceanographic Research Institute (ORI) in South Africa joined this task force to assess, with the assistance of WCS, levels of coral disease off the northeast coast of Madagas-
car in Antongil Bay, the target area, and the northwest coast around the Mitsio islands as an unaf-
fected control. Preliminary results indicate, as predicted, that coral bleaching was more prevalent in the targeted area in comparison to the west coast control site, and that disease prevalence was greater in areas where coral bleaching occurred. Detailed laboratory analysis of the coral samples will be conducted at ORI to determine the types and prevalence of coral disease.