Research and Monitoring at Anse-La-Raie
First step: a rapid inventory
A rapid inventory of the lagoon of Anse-La-Raie was carried out in June 2010. The aim of this inventory was to provide us with baseline information about the marine habitats present in the lagoon. The biological data collected allowed us to produce a map of the different marine ecosystems of the lagoon of Anse La Raie.
The rapid inventory led to the development of preliminary habitat maps, which show the seagrass, algae, and coral cover. The inventory revealed that the health of patch reefs is degraded in some areas, representing — % of the lagoon.
A verification process in the field
A second step consisted in field verifications, which were organized during the months of June and November 2011. These field verifications have focused on specific areas to better understand the diversity of corals and fish present at the site and determine the possible links between different areas identified during the inventory.
What is Anse-La-Raie like?
During fieldwork, 47 species of fish and 18 species of coral were identified.
This first study provides an approximation of the distribution of species, but it does not replace a comprehensive quantitative study using transects and quadrats. Such a study will be carried out during the second half of 2012. The main objectives of this study are to:
1. Assess the health of coral reefs looking for diversity and abundance of corals and to monitor the water quality in the lagoon
2. Assess the reproductive capacity of existing reefs
3. Determine which coral species can be used for the rehabilitation of reefs in Anse La Raie
4. Provide a basis for education and awareness programmes
5. Partner with the Albion Fisheries Research Centre (AFRC), Department of Fisheries and Rodrigues
In parallel we are also considering setting up a voluntary conservation area in the lagoon of Anse La Raie. This project consists of several steps, namely community awareness on the importance of conservation and preservation of the marine environment, organizing events (film screening in open air, open day), eco guide training for 10 residents of in the area of Anse la Raie, numerous meetings with the community, hoteliers and key players in the lagoon fishermen.