coral bleaching on Maldives

Zdenk Vapenik zdenka.vapenik at
Mon Aug 10 07:32:57 EDT 1998

Dear coral-listers
>From 26. June to 11. July 1998 I made part of a scientist team collecting
data on Maldivian reefs in the South Male Atoll. 
We observed severe coral bleaching all over the area (their occured
bleaching on the reef tops but also on the slopes of the outside reefs).
Other groups of our team reported the same from other islands in the Ari-
and Male-Atolls.
We have been told by local diving guides that high temperatures (over 30°C
up to 30m depth) were observed from April to June 1998.

Here the most importent observations we made during our field work:

- Sinularia sp. was 100% bleached (with black stripes)
  (closely related Sarcophyton sp was not bleached)
- Acroporidae, Fungidae, Platygyra sp. were 60-80% bleached
- bleaching of Porites less than 60%
- giant clam (Tridacna sp.) were often partially bleached and very slow in
closing motion when disturbed
- many anemones (Heteractis) were bleached
- many of the bleached corals were already overgrown with filamentous algae!

Who made similar observations in other parts of the Maldives and who can
send us recent temperature data from this area?
 Comments and questions about our work are welcome


         Reto Wyss, Zdenka Vapenik, email: vapenik at

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