Blue Halo Collecting Images of Montserrat's Reefs

LITTLE BAY – Work is progressing by members of the Waitt Institute’s Blue Halo project to capture Montserrat’s reefs.

The Waitt Institute teamed up with scientists and researchers from Scripps Institution of Oceanography this week to collect reef images around Montserrat. According to the WI Facebook page, “these images will be used to create large scale photomosaics to track and monitor coral reef health all around the world.”

 They will take thousands of images collected on the reefs used to create a photomosaic. These photomosaics will help scientists study coral and algae interactions, *benthic community dynamics, and overall coral reef health.

The Waitt Institute launched the Blue Halo Montserrat project in February 2015. The project, which is also in place in Bermuda, Barbuda and Curacao partners with governments, communities, and scientists to create and implement ocean policies, including sustainable fishing practices and comprehensive ocean zoning.

In the case of Montserrat, the objective is for the organisation and the government to work together in managing Montserrat’s waters for sustainability, profitability, and enjoyment, resulting healthier ecosystems, improved fishing catches, and strengthened coastal livelihoods. It will also work towards understanding the threat to the ecosystem, economy, and culture of Montserrat if fishing and use of ocean resources proceed in an unsustainable manner.

Under the project, the Government of Montserrat and the Waitt Foundation will collaborate in developing and codifying a Sustainable Ocean Policy for the island, including ocean zoning, sanctuary zones, and fisheries laws and regulations.

*Benthic: The collection of organisms living on or in the bottom of a body of water.