KINGSTON, Jamaica, March 9, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Khaled bin Sultan Living Oceans Foundation commences coral reef research on Pedro Bank Jamaica. The expedition to Pedro Bank launches the second year of the Foundation's multi-year coral reef research program, the Global Reef Expedition.
The Foundation's research platform, the M/Y Golden Shadow sets off from Port Antonio on the evening March 10th and will arrive at the research site in Pedro Bank early the following morning. Several Jamaican scientists will be on board: Llewelyn Meggs, and Nathalie Zenny from The Nature Conservancy, Anna Ebanks and Azra Blythe-Mallet from the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries, Andrew Ross from Seascape Caribbean, Sean Green from NEPA, Ivana Kenny from the Urban Development Corporation and Rachel D'Silva from University of West Indies.
By invitation from the Jamaican government, the Foundation will conduct scuba surveys on the coral reefs off Pedro Bank. As part of an effort to aid in selection of possible fishery reserves, the scientific team will also conduct plankton surveys to identify fish larvae and oceanographic assessments that will measure temperature, salinity, and water currents. The primary scientific goals of the Global Reef Expedition are to characterize coral reef ecosystems, identify their current status and major threats, and examine factors that enhance their resistance to and recovery from major disturbance events.
The Pedro Bank reefs were last surveyed in 2005 and the current research will use the same methodology (the Atlantic and Gulf Rapid Reef Assessment protocol) and will reassess the same areas in addition to new locations. An extensive survey of this area will inform the development of a network of marine protected areas including fish sanctuaries that build connectivity, resiliency and the protection of vital larval supplies, fish stocks and keystone habitats. Results of the scientific findings will be shared freely with participating organizations and the Jamaican government.
About the Khaled bin Sultan Living Oceans Foundation
Founded by HRH Prince General Khaled bin Sultan of Saudi Arabia, the Khaled bin Sultan Living Oceans Foundation was incorporated in California as a 501(c)(3), public benefit, Private Operating Foundation in September 2000. With its headquarters in Washington DC, the Living Oceans Foundation is dedicated to the conservation and restoration of oceans of the world, and champions their preservation through research, education, and a commitment to Science Without Borders®.
Science Without Borders® is registered to the Foundation for financial sponsorship of marine conservation programs and scientific research and to promote public awareness of the need to preserve, protect and restore the world's oceans and aquatic resources.
SOURCE Khaled bin Sultan Living Oceans Foundation