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December 23, 2019

Global Reef Expedition: French Polynesia Final Report

Publisher: Khaled bin Sultan Living Oceans Foundation

Authors: Alexandra Dempsey, Badi Samaniego, Elizabeth M. Rauer, Philip P. Renaud, Renée D. Carlton, Samuel Purkis, Serge Andréfouët

Language: English

In April 2011 the Khaled bin Sultan Living Oceans Foundation embarked on the Global Reef Expedition—the largest coral reef survey and mapping expedition in history. As part of the 5-year Expedition, an international team of scientists worked with local partners to assess the health and resiliency of coral reefs in four archipelagos in the Overseas Lands of French Polynesia. They conducted standardized surveys of coral and fish communities and created high-resolution habitat maps of the seafloor. This was the largest comprehensive coral reef expedition ever conducted in French Polynesia. 

The Global Reef Expedition: French Polynesia Final Report provides a comprehensive summary of the Foundation's research findings from the Expedition, along with recommendations for preserving French Polynesia's coral reefs into the future.

This unprecedented scientific mission involved 73 scientists from research organizations around the world who worked side by side with local experts and marine scientists to gather the highest quality data. Together, they mapped and surveyed reefs around 29 islands in the Society, Tuamotu, Gambier, and Austral Archipelagoes, covering over 8,000 km and conducting nearly 4,000 SCUBA surveys of French Polynesia's coral reefs and associated fish communities. Some of the remote reefs they visited had never been studied by scientists before.

The Khaled bin Sultan Living Oceans Foundation hopes the data presented in this report will be used for the protection and preservation of French Polynesia's coral reef ecosystems for generations to come.