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Marine Biodiversity Baseline assessment

Marine Biodiversity Baseline assessment around Fregate Island, the eastern most Seychelles ‘Inner’ granitic island

Duration: January 2019 – December 2020 (24 months)

Description: Long-term, marine ecological research programmes are needed to improve our understanding of the complex mechanisms that govern coral reef ecosystems. Information generated by a long-term marine programme at Fregate Island will help to distinguish anthropogenic change from natural variation, understand the combined effects of various stresses, predict how different parts of the reef community may be affected by environmental change, and identify activities both within and outside coral reef ecosystems that affect the survival of coral reefs.

This project aims to collect data for an initial assessment of the coral reef assemblage and associated marine species, and assess trends over time by establishing a long-term marine monitoring program on Fregate Island. The data will be collected through standardized marine monitoring scientific methodologies currently employed by GIF, and can be used to compare findings with other granitic islands. The marine monitoring will be augmented with novel spatial monitoring technologies provided by Coralive.org. The research will produce reports about the state of Fregate Island’s coral reef with more specific questions being answered through University of Seychelles Environmental Science bachelor student’s final year projects. In addition, public awareness of the threats facing coral reefs and marine conservation will be enhanced using state of the art technologies such as 3D virtual reef mosaics. Ultimately, by compiling all the research outlined in this project, we aim to provide recommendations for decisions to be made on the potential for creating an MPA around Fregate Island.

Funding body: SeyCCAT

Partners: Fregate Island Private, Green Islands Foundation (GIF), Coralive.