IOC Sub-Commission

for the Western Pacific (WESTPAC)

DNA Taxonomy and Recruitment Monitoring of the Coral Reef Marine Organisms (2012-2017)

The Coral Triangle is the coral-rich seas of six Southeast Asian countries including Indonesia, the Philippines, Malaysia, Papua New Guinea, the Solomon Islands and Timor Leste which exhibit the highest biodiversity of marine life on earth. This region harbors approximately 600 coral species (over 75% of known coral species), over 3,000 species of fish, and endangered marine turtles. It also serves as the major spawning and nursery ground for commercially important tuna species.

Yet, the biodiversity of the Coral Triangle is not fully investigated. It is considered that many more species still remain unidentified in the region.

Protection and rational use of the marine biological resources in the Coral Triangle is important for livelihood and prosperity of the region. However, the biodiversity of the Coral Triangle is in danger of deterioration due to global warming and coastal development. Therefore, establishment of a conservation plan is an urgent task.

For conservation of biodiversity, information on the extent of the current biodiversity and its dynamics is required. Therefore, it is necessary to make an inventory of the marine organisms living in the Coral Triangle as precisely as possible using the genetic methods and to monitor the recruitment of the organisms in each part of the region with the DNA chip and bio-acoustics technologies.

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