1. The diversity of birds, coral, and fish diminished as we progressed from Papua New Guinea to Easter Island. Where there are over 300 endemic birds in PNG there are none in Easter Island. Fish and coral diversity also diminished.
2. Health of the corals impacts everything. It is the habitat for fish. We saw damage to reefs from hurricanes, sewage and human intrusion, wave action, crown of thorns (star fish) and global warming. However, there is some discussion about the corals adapting to the warming temperatures if the other threats can be kept at a minimum.
3. The Pristine Seas project is very promising. Whereas only 1% of the oceans are now protected, if we could build that to 10% our oceans would be much more healthy. It has been proven if parts of the oceans can be protected against pollution, fishing, etc. those sections will rebuild within 10 years time. And, that is carried over to outlying areas. Check the Monterey Aquarium for a list of the fish we should eat and not eat. Atlantic farm raised salmon are a big “no!”
4. Sharks are a great predictor of the health of reefs. Where there are a lot, things are healthy because they are top of the food chain.
5. We saw lots of whales in the Samoa/Fiji section of our trip.