Pacific Coral Reef Institute

Best Wishes for 2017!


The IRCP joins the CRIOBE in extending best wishes for the new year!

Bleeker Awards IPFC 2017 – Nominations open!!

Since 2005, the Indo-Pacific Fish Conference (IPFC) has had the privilege of presenting the Bleeker Award, an award that honours individuals who have made significant contributions to the field of ichthyology in the Indo-Pacific. The award honours the memory of Pieter Bleeker, the late father of Indo-Pacific Ichthyology.

Organized by the CRIOBE, the 10th IPFC will be held in Papeete, Tahiti French Polynesia from 2-6 October 2017. Nominations for the 2017 Bleeker Awards are now open and will be presented to two ichthyologists for “an outstanding body of published work in Indo-Pacific ichthyology, with a focus on either on systematics or ecology”. The winners of Bleeker awards will have to give a talk about their research during the next IPFC in Tahiti.

More information here


H. Choat receiving the Bleeker Award – IPFC7


J. Randall receiving the Bleeker Award – IPFC7

The Bleeker Awards 2017 are realized thanks to partnership with Air Tahiti Nui and the InterContinental hotels.


Applications for IRCP-CRIOBE GRANTS 2017 are now open!

The Institute for Pacific Coral Reefs (IRCP) and the CRIOBE will offer 4 grants in 2017 to young scientists – PhDs and Post-doctorates, under 35 years old – for research projects focused on the coral reefs of French Polynesia. Grants will be available to both French nationals and foreigners. To support the advancement of science in the Pacific, one of the four award recipients will come from the South Pacific Islands.

The IRCP scientific committee, including several members from the Pacific Community (SPC), will lead the selection process.
Each grant is valued at 4500 euros and will support:

  • travel expenses to and from French Polynesia,
  • accommodation and research costs at the CRIOBE research station.

Selected candidates will have 12 months from the time the award is granted to complete their research project. Within a month of completing fieldwork, the candidates will provide a preliminary report of their findings. The successful candidates will provide a final report, including at least one publication in a peer reviewed scientific journal of a high standard, in the following year. The grant should be mentioned in reports and publications under the name “IRCP – CRIOBE”.

To apply for the 2017 IRCP-CRIOBE grant, applicants must submit:

  • a CV (2 pages max),
  • a research project (5 pages max. including references),
  • an abstract of research project (200-250 words)
  • and a financial appendix (including estimated expenses – 1 page max.)

Please send all application materials to: or

All applications must be received before 30 January 2017
Grant recipients will be announced 24 February 2017.

Replenishing Tetiaroa’s lagoon through PCC (2015-2018), the Video!

Replenishing Tetiaroa’s lagoon through capture, culture and restocking of fish and crustacean post-larvae (2015 – 2018)


The present project plans to replenish the Tetiaroa lagoon by rearing and releasing fish and crustaceans caught at post-larval stage over 3 years. The marine post-larvae will be caught using nets set up on the reef crest of the atoll. The post-larvae will be kept in aquarium at Tetiaroa research center in cages or in the lagoon between 1 to 3 months according to species, and then released in the lagoon of Tetiaroa. Released fish and crustacean will be marked by external tags or implantations of magnetic bars in the flesh. This tagging will allow to estimate, several months after being released, the proportion of marine raised post-larvae involved in the adult stock of fish and crustaceans at Tetiaroa. The replenishment of fish and crustacean will be conducted in the different parts of the Marine Protected Area at Tetiaroa. Overall, the implementation of this project is part of a responsible approach of management of the resource in the context of sustainable development at Tetiaroa and is part of The Tetiaroa Sustainable and Conservation Plan.


Fish larvae collected with the crest net at Tetiaroa

The innovative character of the present project is due to the use of fish and crustaceans caught at post-larval stage to replenish Polynesian lagoons. Many studies have been done on the PCC to demonstrate that the capture and culture of post-larval fish and crustaceans is an economically viable technology for the international aquaculture and aquarium markets (Bell et al. 2009). Unfortunately, very few studies have been conducted to demonstrate that the PCC is an environmentally sustainable technique to replenish a coral lagoon (Grignon 2010). The present project therefore aims to fill this gap. Thus, our project will provide new understanding of the connectivity and recruitment of fish and crustacean populations among habitats in coral reefs, which will assist conservationists and reef managers concerned with maintaining biodiversity on coral reefs. If the recruitment potential of some coral islands has decreased due to natural or human stressors, the populations of reef organisms will continue their rapid decline, as compromised habitat selection at recruitment will mean that larvae fail to replace and to sustain the adult populations on the reefs. The present project aims to replenish Tetiaroa lagoon by rearing and releasing fish and crustaceans caught at post-larval stage with crest nets. Another innovative is the use of external/internal tags to identify reared fish and crustaceans in aquaria or cages and thus estimate the impact of replenishment on the adult stock at Tetiaroa. Lastly, there is no decentralized management model suitable for public areas such as the Tetiaroa lagoon. The integration of economic actors of Tetiaroa allows a direct participatory approach of the first users of the island that are present on the atoll on a regular basis and have a vested interest in the preserved resource. The identified models could be adapted to other islands. The fishermen community is supportive of the project which could provide a long term solution for overfishing area.

=>Watch the Movie to have a look at the project

Marine and Terrestrial Biodiversity of the Marquisas Islands, French Polynesia. The Book!

Free Download Here! (size 166 Mo)

The Marquesas, an archipelago of French Polynesia comprising a dozen oceanic islands, is one of the most isolated in the world. Its terrestrial and marine ecosystems and biodiversity are unique, with spectacular landscapes and many endemic plant and animal species, some of them are highly threatened. These particular ecological features, associated with a strong cultural authenticity, raise crucial management and conservation challenges and fully support inclusion of the archipelago on the mixed (natural and cultural) sites of the Unesco World Heritage List.

This book, comprising 22 chapters written by 74 local, national and international scientists and experts, provides the first comprehensive account of the terrestrial, freshwater and marine flora and fauna of the Marquesas, and their natural habitats. It will be invaluable to all biologists, naturalists, natural resource managers, visitors fond of this archipelago and above all the Marquesans themselves.

Galzin R., Duron S.-D. & Meyer J.-Y. (eds), 2016. Biodiversité terrestre et marine des îles Marquises, Polynésie française. Paris: Société française d’Ichtyologie. 526 pages. (in French)

logo_pf-haute-definition agence-amp Logo IRCP new allonge

Lateralization Process by Coral Reef Fish – IRCP Grant

Having got an IRCP grant in 2011, Rynae G. Lanyon, from the University of South Pacific (USP) published her third article on fish brain in Animal Behavior journal, in collaboration with seven other scientists. After a work on the visual abilities of coral reef fish larvae, this is the lateralization process used in the visual recognition that is explored here:

In vertebrates, brain functional asymmetries are widespread and are known to increase brain performance. For numerous species, the left and the right sides of the brain present distinct role in information perception and in response emission which seems to be important in sensory processing. Some fish species, such as cichlids and zebrafish are known to have brain asymmetries. However, little information is available on brain lateralization in coral reef fishes and the impact this could have during the recruitment phase.

In this study, soldierfish Myripristis pralinia has been used at the larval and juvenile stage in order to test the role of both left and right telencephalic hemisphere in the perception of visual cues. The experiments conducted by the research team were done to see whether there was a difference in visual perception between the left and the right hemispheres during the larval development. Left of right telencephalon was ablated from larvae and juveniles of M. pralinia and their ability to visually recognize conspecific was then tested. Individuals were placed in a 3 compartments aquarium (divided by transparent glass) to test their ability to visually recognize conspecifics. The Larvae with the ablation of either the right or left telencephalic hemisphere lost the attraction towards conspecific cues. In contrast, juveniles with the ablation of the right (but not left) telencephalic hemisphere still displayed a preference towards conspecific visual cues. These results suggest the left telencephalic hemisphere is responsible for the lateralization process used in the visual recognition of coral reef fish juveniles.

The two-choice aquarium (60 x12 cm and 10 cm high) used to behaviourally assess visual recognition in larval and juvenile M. pralinia. The tested fish (after ablation) is put in the central part of the aquarium and its behavior recorded during 1 minute. Is the fish able to recognize fishes of its species and other fishes?

The two-choice aquarium (60 x12 cm and 10 cm high) used to behaviourally assess visual recognition in larval and juvenile M. pralinia. The tested fish (after ablation) is put in the central part of the aquarium and its behavior recorded during 1 minute. Is the fish able to recognize fishes of its species and other fishes?

Different parts of a fish brain

Different parts of a fish brain

The determinism of lateralized perception of conspecifics during fish ontogeny may be a consequence of genetic factors, linked with the metamorphosis processes and/or environmental factors such as predation at recruitment.

Roux N., Duran E., Lanyon R.G., Frédérich B., Berthe C., Besson M., Dixson D.L., Lecchini D., 2016.Brain lateralization involved in visual recognition of conspecifics in coral reef fish at recruitment. Animal Behaviour, vol. 117: 3-8. IF: 3.4

SO CORAIL : the New Website Launched!

HomeIn May, the new Service d’Observation (SO CORAIL) website was launched. The SO CORAIL is a multi-faceted scientific monitoring program established by the Centre de Recherches Insulaires et Observatoire de l’Environnement (CRIOBE) more than 40 years ago to detect the temporal fluctuations on the coral reefs of South Pacific. Today, the SO CORAIL database is an incredible resource for researchers at the CRIOBE, and for our collaborators around the world.



A User-friendly Interface

The new website, created by a team of technicians at the CRIOBE, boasts a user-friendly interface, stronger search capabilities allowing for better access to specific dataset, and the ability for data to be sorted by geography. In addition, the new site provides interactive maps which allow for another means of accessing datasets.

Three different means to access the datasets:geography

1/ by geography: more than ten French Polynesian islands and five in the South Pacific neighbourg island States.

2/ by monitoring programs: six current programs in the South Pacific area.

3/ by monitored parameters: five biological and nine physico-chimical parameters

Strong Partnerships

The observation Service CORAIL developed strong partnerships through the South Pacific,with for instance gouvernment services,  NGO, universities or institutes and it is part of the international networks Long Term Ecological Research Network(NSF) and  Global Coral Reef Monitoring Network (Réseau Polynesia Mana). It is our hope that in current or futures partnerships, this service and the tools developed in association with this resource will help to advance the field of coral reef ecology, specifically with respect to how reefs change through time.

The Observation Service CORAIL is part of the national observation services of the Institut National des Sciences de l’Univers(INSU) of the Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS).For this, all datasets are available to the scientific community and the civil society.

To access the raw data please contact Joachim Claudet (

The english version of the website will be soon available

South Pacific Freshwater Eels – Workshop at Fiji


With the financial support of the Fonds Pacifique, IRCP/CRIOBE and the Pacific Community organize, with the help of the University of South Pacific and the Ministry of Fisheries and Forest of Fiji, an international workshop in Suva 13-15 June 2016.

The proposed workshop will provide an update on the knowledge of tropical eel species in the South Pacific area and on the requirements in fundamental and applied research needed in the various territories to sustainably manage populations.

Pierre in the field anguille

No registration fee (registration required for organization). Coffee break and lunch provided to registred people.

Click here to access the program.

For any information please contact :


The mechanisms of coral calcification – IRCP Grant

After Andra Whiteside and  Rohan Brooker, Aurélie Moya come for several days at the CRIOBE at Moorea, to study our coral reefs, thanks to an IRCP – SNH – SPDD grant.

Corporate portraits of staff at the ARC Coral Reef Studies

Aurélie Moya, research fellow at the ARC Coral Reef Studies – Australia


« I propose to apply parallel transcriptomic approaches based on developmental and tissue-specific features of calcification, to identify the genes involved in coral calcification and to characterize their pattern of expression during development. The proposed research will provide an essential baseline as well as new perspectives on the
potential impact of changing environmental conditions on coral reefs.

I will focus on the coral Pocillopora damicornis, which recently joined the handful of coral species for which extensive sequence data are publicly available (Traylor-Knowles et al. 2011). This species is an ideal candidate for the proposed work because it is one of the pioneer colonizers of reefs in the Indo-Pacific; it is abundant in French Polynesia, and it releases brooded larvae every lunar cycle throughout the year. An adult colony provides on average 500 larvae per month.

The proposed research addresses fundamental questions in coral biology – most obviously the mechanism of calcification – and will provide baseline and new perspectives on the potential impact of changing environmental conditions on coral reefs. »

Aurelie Moya_depeche.pdf

IRCP candidate compares fidjian and polynesian coral bleaching

Andra Whiteside (Fidjian Phd Student) obtained an IRCP grant. She came at the CRIOBE two weeks in February 2016 to work on coral bleaching. She want to survey the response of coral face to climate change and especially the bleaching reaction. Andra already has results from Fiji and wants to compare both location.

More information in the article of La Dépêche de Tahiti (in French)