On the evening of the 29th September 2016 Hurricane Matthew passed north of Bonaire by approximately 240km, with maximum sustained wind speeds over 120km/h. After passing Aruba as a category 2 hurricane, the path of Matthew slowed its forward progress and turned north-northeast. Heavy storm surge generated by Matthew continued to strike the coastline and on the 4th-5th of October, a resurgence of waves ranging from 1.4-1.7 m height pounded the northern and western (leeward) shores of Bonaire and Klein Bonaire. After the waves subsided, STINAPA immediately sent survey forms to dive operators requesting information on reef conditions and offered assistance in removing large debris.

A Resolution 2/12 on sustainable coral reefs management (EA/2/12) was adopted at the second session of the United Nations Environment Assembly (UNEA-2) in May 2016. The resolution, inter alia, calls for initiatives, cooperation and commitments to conserve and sustainably manage coral reefs, including cold-water coral ecosystems and mangroves; recognizes that education, capacity building and knowledge transfer is crucial; and encourages integrated, ecosystem-based and comprehensive approaches including partnerships with industry, as well as establishment of MPAs and other spatial and relevant sectoral approaches to enhance climate change resilience.

Participants at the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) World Conservation Congress (WCC) adopted the Hawai'i Commitments, titled ‘Navigating Island Earth,' which outline opportunities to address conservation challenges, including maintaining the health of the world's oceans, tackling wildlife trafficking, addressing species loss and ecosystem declines, building resilience to climate change, and sustaining world food supplies.

New rules are based on more than a decade of collaborative fisheries research carried out by the Grouper Moon Project, a conservation research program initiated by Reef Environmental Education Foundation (REEF) in collaboration with the Cayman Islands Department of Environment.

On 15 August, 2016, the Cayman Islands government enacted a comprehensive set of regulations aimed at recovering Nassau Grouper, an endangered Caribbean reef fish.


Throughout the duration of the Pacific expedition, Tara will be a partner of the International Coral Reef Initiative, an opportunity to share observations and scientific objectives.

The International Coral Reef Initiative (ICRI) aims to bring together governments, scientific institutions, non-governmental and international organizations to improve good management practices and share our knowledge about the world’s coral reefs. The collaboration between the Tara Expeditions Foundation and ICRI will expand the visibility, research impact, and data from the scientific team, and bolster the awareness of elected officials and Pacific island populations.

The Khaled bin Sultan Living Oceans Foundation launched an exciting new educational resource. The Coral Reef Ecology Curriculum is a comprehensive digital resource freely available online. It includes award-winning videos, custom-built interactive exercises, games, quizzes, and lesson plans for teachers — all aligned to the latest education standards (Next Generation Science Standards, Common Core State Standards, and Ocean Literacy Principles). The Coral Reef Ecology Curriculum can be found online at: www.lof.org/CoralReefCurriculum.

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