During nearshore survey conducted in July 2018, KMFRI scientists deployed Acoustic Wave and Current Profiler, an equipment that tests temperature current direction, its speed and strength all which affect seagrass, a critical habitat for fish.
This survey helps in mapping of fishing zones by establishing fish abundance and water quality in a given location as well as type of fish that can thrive in given conditions. This information is important for fishing communities who depend on the trade for livelihood. Other components that are tested include water salinity, temperature, and chlorophyll A responsible for photosynthesis; phytoplankton and zooplanktons, which inform food chains in marine biodiversity.
High speed of current might have a negative impact such as bleaching with high temperatures likely to destroy corals. “However some corals may not be impacted by temperature due to hydrology of the system and some cold waters coming in enhances resilience of the corals,” Dr Kamau said.
Varied effects of climate change affect status of our oceans resulting in depletion of coral reef ecosystems. “The equipment can collect information on hydrodynamic of the ocean, the kind of water mass and the source and direction of pollutants,” said Dr Kamau. Seagrass and corals in murky waters may not thrive due to lack of light penetration; they are also affected by current direction.
Baro diver, an equipment used to monitor sea level, is deployed in waters to measure water temperature, pressure, shoreline change, depth, and detects high and low water tides, with temperature varying with tides.