Dilmah Conservation will work in the Northern and Eastern Provinces to document the status of the coral reefs and other marine environments. With the end of the war, some of these areas have been opened up for the first time. Due to minimum levels of human interferences during the war, these coral reefs and other marine environments are relatively well preserved as compared to those in the southern coastline. However, at present easy access to these areas are creating the possibilities of future exploitation of these marine resources.
This was the reason why Dilmah Conservation decided to step in and work towards the preservation of some of the important areas, which include Komari, Manmune, Pasikuda, Pigeon Islands, Coral Islands, Red Rocks and Salappai Aru. The documentation will include visible biodiversity of the reef, estimate substrate composition and percentage of live coral cover over substrates, reef health including pollution, human impacts, invasive reef organisms, other processors active on the reef and general threats that affect the wellbeing of the reef.
The aim of the marine conservation programme is to sustain the prevailing marine diversity and create awareness among the communities of the importance of marine life.
Kayankerni – probably the best reef in Sri Lanka
Kayankerni is a relatively undisturbed complex of reefs and shoals that span the Thennadi Bay and extend down along the northern reaches of the Vanderloos Bay in eastern Sri Lanka. There is a small path of reef close to the shore on the western end of the Thennadi Bay around Velikuda Periyamunei. An extensive patch of reef is found about 1.4km north of this site and is composed of various habitats that consist of shallow staghorn beds to deep coral domes and steep reef slopes dropping down to over 10m in depth. The area is exposed to heavy surf and is said to have had an exposed sand island previously which has now submerged and is overgrown with coral.
Several spot surveys were carried out using snorkel and Scuba diving during the preliminary survey of the surf. A rapid survey of the reef areas using 2 divers on an 850m long diver tow over the eastern section of the reef at Thennadi Bay. The areas were assessed for general habitat types, reef health indicators, and general biodiversity of non-cryptic daytime fauna. The areas were documented using underwater photography and video. The coral areas within the eastern section of the Thennadi Bay is composed of three roughly fan shaped reef areas. The aim of the marine conservation programme is to sustain the prevailing marine diversity and create awareness among the communities of the importance of marine life.
Click the link below for the latest on the Kayankerni Reef.
Field data on ongoing activities
Project partners: Ocean Resources Conservation Association – ORCA