Catlin Establishes ‘Global Reef Record’ Database for Coral Ecosystems

September 24, 2013

International specialty property/casualty insurer and reinsurer Bermuda-based Catlin Group Limited announced the establishment of the Catlin Global Reef Record

Catlin has sponsored the group’s Seaview Survey for the past two years, a project to determine the state of the world’s coral reefs. The Global Reef Record reaffirms its “commitment to sponsoring impartial scientific research regarding the risks that society will face in the future, particularly environmental risks,” said the announcement.

“The Catlin Global Reef Record will enable scientists around the world to collaborate on understanding changes to coral reefs and related marine environments as a result of over-exploitation, pollution and climate change. It is estimated that 500 million people globally depend on coral reefs for food and income and between one-third and one-half of corals around the world have been lost in the last 50 years.”

The Record “features hundreds of thousands of 360-degree panoramic images along with numerous other additional scientific data sets. The Catlin Seaview Survey team collected the groundbreaking images and data during expeditions of the Great Barrier Reef, coral reefs across the Caribbean and its most recent expedition in Bermuda, which launched on September 18.

“Beyond the Catlin Seaview Survey images and data, the Catlin Global Reef Record also incorporates critical data and research methods on coral reef health from a host of scientific collaborators to establish a much-needed common methodology in research and measurement.”

Catlin said that by hosting standardized scientific data across important coral reef regions worldwide, the Record would “set a benchmark that will support and host follow-up monitoring programs.

“Within the next two years, the Catlin Global Reef Record will also include Catlin Seaview Survey baseline visuals and data from Southeast Asia, the Indian Ocean, the Middle East, and the Pacific, in addition to the surveys already completed in Australia and the Atlantic Region (Bermuda and Caribbean). Over time, the Catlin Global Reef Record will also seek to expand to other reef related datasets, becoming the central resource for data regarding the world’s most biologically diverse yet highly threatened ecosystems.”

The Global Reef Record launch coincides with the release of the first working group report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPPC) 5th Assessment Report, which is being presented in Stockholm from Sept 23-26.

“The Catlin Global Reef Record reaffirms Catlin’s commitment to financing impartial environmental research, which began in 2009 with the Catlin Arctic Survey and renewed in 2012 with the Catlin Seaview Survey,” said Stephen Catlin, Chief Executive of Catlin Group. “As a company that helps clients manage risk, we are thrilled to be part of international efforts to develop truly game-changing science that helps everyone better understand the risks of tomorrow.”

“Studying our oceans on a global scale and working together across public, private and academic sectors to share information and analysis is critically important,” said Dr. Mark Eakin, Coordinator of NOAA’s Coral Reef Watch. “Integrating our virtual station information in the Catlin Global Reef Record connects data on one of the biggest threats to coral reefs, climate change; with observations from one of the first and hardest hit ecosystems.”

The bulletin also explained that corals are considered the ‘canary in the coal mine’ when it comes to impacts of climate change and ocean acidification. While Bermuda’s reefs are proving to be resilient to change, conditions in the Atlantic are changing rapidly, which exemplifies the need for the Catlin Global Reef Record to establish important baselines in partnership with the scientists of the Bermuda Institute of Ocean Sciences (BIOS) and other local scientific partners.”

Source: Catlin Group Limited

Topics Pollution Climate Change Bermuda

Was this article valuable?

Here are more articles you may enjoy.