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Building Capacity for Ocean Acidification Monitoring

The James Michel Blue Economy Research Institute at University of Seychelles participated in the United Nations Oceans Conference (New York, June 2017) and signed a voluntary commitment within the Sustainable Development Goals 14, “Strengthening the Blue Economy by Supporting Research Capacity Development in Seychelles – starting with Ocean Acidification and the GOA-ON initiative”- (#OceanAction16126). Various collaborations with UN agencies like the FAO, the IOC-UNESCO, or the Principality of Monaco are being strengthened to allow BERI to contribute to the international scientific effort in the field of Climate Change and the Blue Economy.

Due to the rise of carbon dioxide (CO2) in the atmosphere and its dissolution in the surface layer of the ocean, our oceans are acidifying. The acidification of the ocean is described by the evolution of its pH and is linked to a shift in its carbonate system. Global projections demonstrate that all ocean basins are affected but the Western Indian Ocean remains under-sampled for ocean acidification-related parameters.

The ecological cost of ocean acidification is high, through direct or indirect effects and in combination with other stressors like global warming and sea-level rise. An example is the lower recruitment success of marines species, including coral reef species and scleratinian corals themselves. Such effects may be felt locally, in our local fisheries.

The James Michel Blue Economy Research Institute at University of Seychelles participated in the United Nations Oceans Conference (New York, June 2017) and signed a voluntary commitment within the Sustainable Development Goals 14, “Strengthening the Blue Economy by Supporting Research Capacity Development in Seychelles – starting with Ocean Acidification and the GOA-ON initiative”- (#OceanAction16126)

BERI’s Ocean Acidification related project will benefit to our common understanding of the functioning of the Western Indian Ocean and for the development of the Blue Economy. In the absence of a national research vessel, the cooperation with international programs will allow Seychelles to contribute to the international scientific effort in the field of Climate Change, it will increase the international scientific visibility of the James Michel Blue Economy Research Institute (and partners) on topics related to its mandate and it will serve to train students and scientists in the use of cutting edge technology.