The Curieuse Island, cared for by the Seychelles Centre for Marine Technology, has the dubious honor of once being a leper colony. Today, this island is a national park.
In 2016, warm ocean water caused a bleaching event. This event created pale white branches on the coral. Scientists believe climate change, specifically global warming, caused the increase in water temperatures.
Marine scientist state the reef and coral will sustain permanent damage if bleaching continues. In 1998, a bleaching event extinguished the clownfish. Nemo is the affectionate nickname for the clownfish. The good news is the fish and wildlife are returning, and plans are underway to restore and maintain the reef.
The plan includes working with the fishing industry and creating more biodiversity in certain areas. The government will monitor new industries and ships entering their waters.
The Aldabra archipelago is a prized area. Nature lovers have compared it to the Galapagos islands. The waters are plentiful with rays, dolphins, humpback whales, and lemon sharks.
Sea cows, or dugongs, seek shelter in Aldabra. Sea cows are endangered species. On land, giant tortoises and a variety of seabirds share the ecosystem with the fish and other mammals.
The new sanctuary is about the area of Scotland. An additional location that is under protection is on the island of Mahe. Combined these areas make up 15% of the waters surrounding Seychelles.
New projects, such as a military site, will be watched for pollution and other damaging factors. The plan calls for surveying and monitoring all facilities. There is a satellite tracking system that will be used on fishing boats to ward off overfishing. This tracking system proved successful in areas of the Pacific ocean.
Working with the fishing industries, marine experts, and other scientists the Seychelles government will have a healthy reef for years to come. The reef will play an essential part in tourism and the economy.