The Maldives Marine Research Institute (MMRI) has warned that the country is heading into coral bleaching season.
MMRI stated that predictions from National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) indicated that the Maldives will be experiencing coral bleaching and that the institute is already receiving reports of these observations.
Prolonged periods of hot, calm weather results in increased sea surface temperature leading to coral bleaching, which is a phenomenon that poses a major threat to reef health and survival. The Maldives generally experiences this phenomenon between March and May. The NOAA Coral Reef Watch satellite-based bleaching outlooks forecasts regions of the Maldives as Watch status, with Warning and Alert level 1 during these periods.
The data released by NOAA shows that the Maldives is currently in the No Stress level for coral bleaching but predicts that the country will experience Alert Level 1 within 9-12 weeks. MMRI has requested the public to observe any coral bleaching.