Bioregions, of course, are just one of the important data layers in indentifying an ecologically representative system of marine protected areas. To be truly ecologically representative and comprehensive, one must also consider all available information about habitats, species and ecological processes. In addition, socio-economic and cultural considerations are vital in the spatial planning process. This report is focussed upon one important, but only one, input to marine spatial planning: the development of marine bioregions.
The [Allen Coral Atlas](https://allencoralatlas.org/) combines high resolution satellite imagery, machine learning and field data to produce globally consistent benthic and geomorphic maps of the world's coral reefs. The Atlas is funded primarily by [Vulcan Inc.](https://www.vulcan.com) (founded by the late Paul G.
The Khaled bin Sultan Living Oceans Foundation has completed the World Reef Map, an online interactive coral reef atlas that allows users to explore all of the coral reefs and shallow water marine habitats mapped on the Global Reef Expedition. With over 65,000 square kilometers of shallow water marine ecosystems mapped, this is by far the largest collection of high-resolution coral reef maps ever made.
Map layers include Benthic Habitat Data, Bathymetry, Depth Contours and Habitat Videos.
Outbreaks of the corallivorous crown-of-thorns seastar Acanthaster planci (COTS) represent one of the greatest disturbances to coral reef ecosystems in the Indo-Pacific, affecting not only coral reefs but also the coastal communities which rely on their resources. This research paper documents a test of a new alternative control method based upon acidic injections of cheap, 100% natural products that was carried out in Vanuatu where the presence of COTS has frequently been reported.
The NOAA Coral Reef Watch program uses satellite data to provide current reef environmental conditions to quickly identify areas at risk for coral bleaching. Bleaching is the process by which corals lose the symbiotic algae that give them their distinctive colors. If a coral is severely bleached, disease and death become likely. Coral Reef Watch also offers a modeled Outlook that predicts the likelihood of coral bleaching heat stress on a week-by-week basis, up to four months in the future (the typical length of a bleaching season).
Status of the Coral Reefs in the Pacific and Outlook. Reports by the Global Coral Reef Network in collaboration with UNEP, IUCN and other agencies
The Khaled bin Sultan Living Oceans Foundation completed field research for one of the largest coral reef studies in history: the Global Reef Expedition. The Expedition travelled around the globe surveying some of the most remote reefs on the planet, conducting research to assess coral reef ecosystem health and resiliency.
The Global Reef Expedition visited many countries in the Pacific Ocean to assess the health and resiliency of their coral reef ecosystems. See links below for more information, reports and maps.