About the Phoenix Islands

NEws & Events

Once Dying And Bleached, A Pacific Coral Reef Is Blooming Again

A coral reef in a remote part of the Pacific Ocean is coming back to life.

Researchers who've been making a trek for years to the Pacific nation of Kiribati say a reef there is teeming with fish and color again. The Coral Castles reef had been bleached by warmer, more acidic ocean water. It's part of a trend that's choking brilliant coral reefs all over the globe.

Here & Now’s Peter O’Dowd visited the researchers at the New England Aquarium to find out why the reef recovered.





Giant Coral Reef in Protected Area Shows New Signs of Life

In 2003, researchers declared Coral Castles dead.

On the floor of a remote island lagoon halfway between Hawaii and Fiji, the giant reef site had been devastated by unusually warm water. Its remains looked like a pile of drab dinner plates tossed into the sea. Research dives in 2009 and 2012 had shown little improvement in the coral colonies.

Then in 2015, a team of marine biologists was stunned and overjoyed to find Coral Castles, genus Acropora, once again teeming with life. But the rebound came with a big question: Could the enormous and presumably still fragile coral survive what would be the hottest year on record?


Global Fishing Watch Reveals a Fisheries Management Success in the Phoenix Islands

Using Global Fishing Watch to Monitor the Oceans

Global Fishing Watch has enabled Oceana to monitor the Phoenix Islands Protected Area (PIPA) and document a drastic reduction in observed fishing activity following new regulations that established it as a no-take area 



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