Research and Monitoring at Roches Noires

First step: a rapid inventory

A rapid inventory of the lagoon was carried out in 2010. This inventory was designed to validate the main area of Volunteer Roches Noires, increase our knowledge of the marine environment and the different habitats present in the lagoon of Roches Noires. Biological data collected allowed us to produce a map of the different ecosystems present in this lagoon. The seagrass ecosystem and algae is represented mainly in the lagoon. A diversity of habitats and species is noted inside the Voluntary Marine Conservation Area (VMCA), comprising of seagrass beds, algae and corals.

Field verifications

A series of field trips were organized in April-May 2012 to map he various habitats present inside the VMCA. The Roches Noires VMCA is a non-homogeneous site with important seagrass beds and patch reefs, which are located mainly in an area sheltered from the currents. This mapping exercise will be used the development of monitoring methodologies that will begin during the second half of 2012.

Outlook and future steps

An ecological assessment will be carried out in the second half of 2012. The main objectives of this assessment are:

1. Assess the health of coral reefs looking for diversity and abundance of corals and to monitor the water quality in the lagoon

  • Inventories of the distribution of corals in the zone,
  • Inventories on the recovery of corals and their health
  • Inventory of invertebrate fauna (echinoderms, molluscs, crustaceans)
  • Inventory of fish
  • Studies on the sedimentation of the lagoon, current in the lagoon
  • Studies on users of the lagoon of Roches Noires
  • Surveys on different physical parameters (T ° C, pH, salinity, turbidity)

2. Assess the reproductive capacity of existing reefs

  • Studies on the recruitment of coral larvae

Survey Map

Roches Noires Lagoon Survey map

Reef_roches_noires_lagoon_survey_map

Roches Noires Lagoon Thematic map

Reef_roches_noires_thematic_map
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