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SEEP: Coral reefs research in Vlora Bay in Albania

SEEP, a local organization near Vlora Bay, on the southern edge of the Albanian Adriatic coast is exploring coral reefs to expose the impact of climate change on the marine biodiversity of Vlora Bay.

It is obvious that the climate has changed and continues to change with effects that appear not only on land, but also on the marine ecosystem, on marine life.

According to current studies, the impact of climate change on marine life is greater and stronger than on land. Seas and oceans are not only experiencing rising temperatures, the amount of oxygen in the water is declining and they are rapidly acidifying, changing the pH of the water leading to the massive death of delicate creatures and visibly of coral barriers.

Coral reefs occupy 0.1% of the ocean bottom, while they serve as shelter and food for 25% of all ocean life so the consequances of this effect will be felt as far as people on land. Day by day, significant areas of coral reefs that are dead or on the verge of death are declared.

For this reason SEEP is running a project  “Awareness of the community and decision makers about climate change” which will be supported with the second SEENET subgrant in 2020. From June to August the project will utilize Scuba Team resources, motor boat, and other necessary equipment to explore the state of coral reefs in Vlora Bay. Scuba SEEP Team will dive on several different locations, mainly in MPA Karaburun-Sazan, and depths to identify, film and document coral reefs.

At the SEEP Centre, field specialists will analyse the data collected and formulate a position paper to comunicate the consequences of climate change on marine ecosystem to decision makers.

At the same time, from the filmed material they will make a short documentary, to present the situation to the general public, because identifying, documenting and publishing these facts is a very important tool for educating the community and decision makers about climate change, its consequences and the need to take emergency measures.

27.04.2020.