Reef Check News
Up to 40% Coral Bleaching Recorded in Bali
By Reef Check Indonesia
In early June, after receiving a report from local fishermen in Tejakula, on the north coast of Bali, Reef Check Foundation Indonesia (RCFI) conducted a rapid assessment along the coast from Pemuteran to the Amed area (approximately 120 km of shore line). The survey showed that Amed had the highest hard coral bleaching percentage, a total of 40% of hard coral in the area. The lowest level of bleaching was found at Tulamben, with 10% of hard coral bleached. The bleaching affected the following corals: Acropora (tabulate and branching), Pocillopora, Stylophora, Montipora (submassive and encrusting), Porites, Pavona, Hydnophora, Favites, Galaxea, Fungia, Ctenactis, Sandolitha, Astreopora, Symphyllia, Platygyra, Diploastrea, Heliopora, Lobophyllia, Millepora, Goniastrea, and Pectinia.
The hard coral species more susceptible to bleaching, such as Seriotopora, Pocillopora, Stylophora, and Pavona, experienced severe bleaching, while the more resistant hard corals, such as Porites, were partially bleached, or not bleached at all. The soft corals Sarcophyton and Sinularia, anemones,and zooanthids were also bleached.
The water temperature ranged from 29 to 30°C during the surveys – a somewhat moderate temperature elevation, which may explain why the bleaching was not so severe.
The biggest bleaching event in Bali occurred during 1997- 1998, as part of the global mass bleaching phenomenon. At that time, Indonesia saw 50% or more hard coral bleaching. In Bali Barat National Park the bleaching hit 100% of coral cover, while in Lombok, Gili Island the bleaching affected 90% of the area. Other areas with bleaching were Seribu National Park, East Kalimantan and Karimunjawa. At that time, the mortality level of the bleaching coral in Karimunjawa was up to 50-60% (Irdez et al, 1998).
“Coral reefs in Bali are bleaching; this condition needs a collaborative effort from various parties to manage the impact," says Naneng Setiasih, the Chairwoman of Reef Check Indonesia Foundation.
If you would like to help monitor the bleaching in Indonesia, contact Jensi Sartin at email@example.com. Thank you to the following partners for their help in conducting this rapid assessment: Reefseen Aquatic, Spicedive Lovina, Gaia Oasis, Puri Mada Tulamben, Emerald Tulamben Hotel and Spa, and Bayu Cottages Amed.