Pacific Coral Reef Institute

Shubha Singh receive The Vice Chancellor’s All Rounder Prize

University of the South Pacific honored 37 brightest students with Gold Medals at its Laucala Campus on the 25th march 2015.

Shubha Singh received the highest most prestigious award offered by the university, The Vice Chancellor’s All Rounder Prize for being the USP graduate with the best combined academic performance and all round service to the community. To read her reaction, click here.

Shubha Singh receiving the Vice Chancellor's All Rounder Prize

Shubha Singh receiving the Vice Chancellor’s All Rounder Prize

Shubha Shalini Singh stayed at the CRIOBE station in December 2014 and January 2015 to study coral reef health state (to read the article)

Validation of IRCP grants in presence of the Dean of the section of Life and Earth Sciences EPHE

Sylvie Demignot, Dean of the section of Life and Earth Sciences EPHE since 2014, was traveling at CRIOBE in February 2015, at the IRCP board of directors. Among other things, she participated in the validation of IRCP-SNH-SPDD grants 2015:

Whiteside Andra (Fiji – USP), Master :
Short-Long Term Sea Surface Temperature Monitoring Data in the Western and Eastern Pacific and Coral Cover in Relation to Genetic Adaptation to Increased Temperature

Moya Aurélie (Australie – James Cook Univ), Post-Doctorant :
Innovative approach to unravelling the mechanisms of coral calcification

Brooker Rohan (USA – Georgia Institute of Technology), Post-Doctorant :
The chemical ecology of larval and juvenile coral reef fish: Implications of degrading reefs & the role of marine reserves

Doropoulos Christopher (Australie – Univ Queensland), Post-Doctorant :
Life-history strategies and trade-offs of coral recruits influence recovery trajectories of disturbed coral reef habitats

During her stay, Ms. Demignot could also visit the CRIOBE and meet all the staff working there : researchers, engineers, technicians and students were able to talk with her during interviews in groups or individual

Criobe's Collections

Criobe’s Collections

Experiment on corals

Experiment on corals

Click to enlarge

Click to enlarge

Fijian student sponsored by the French Embassy in Fiji worked on corals at the CRIOBE station

Shubha Shalini Singh stayed at the CRIOBE station in December 2014 and January 2015 to study coral reef health state. Her stay was sponsored by the French Embassy in Fiji. Coral ecology was her main focus as she was given the opportunity by Dr. David Lecchini to assist Antoine Puisay, in his research and work on corals.

Her project had two main objectives:

    1. Identifying the factors affecting the distribution and the health of the genus Pocillopora on the reefs of Moorea
    2. Identifying the different species of Pocillopora found on the reefs around Moorea

If you want to know more, click on her report. You can also read the article in La Depêche (in French)


Click on the picture to download the article


South Pacific 2015 now available!

The IRCP newsletter 2015 is now available :

Newsletter IRCP 2015. Click on the picture to download it

IRCP Newsletter 2015. Click on the picture to download it

Polynesia Mana Team at Takapoto Island

The survey of Polynesia Mana network has been done on Takapoto (Tuamotu Islands) in December 2014 by Gilles Siu and Vetea Liao, engineers at the CRIOBE station.


Takapoto Island, the red star marks the survey area


Assisted by Ismaël, DRMM officer, they assessed ichtyologic and coral abondance using the Manta Tow method, transects and photographic quadrats. A thermograph has also been set up.


The survey on Takapoto island started in 1994. At the end of this mission, first assessements indicate a stable coral cover since 2000 (30% recovered). At the same time fish abondance is increasing.

Coral landscape on the survey area, Takapoto

Coral landscape on the survey area, Takapoto

Multitude of fish on the upper slope, Takapoto

Clicking on these links take you to the data of the CRIOBE observatory :
*Fish abondance
*Coral Cover

The CRISP Database

The Initiative for the Protection and Management of Coral Reefs in the Pacific (CRISP), was sponsored by France and prepared by the French Development Agency (AFD) as part of an inter-ministerial project from 2002 to 2011.

The CRISP Coordinating Unit developed a comprehensive database in 2008 to include a great collection of project products (such as reports, publications, presentation, posters,etc.) as well as comprehensive information on institutions and partners involved into the programme.

The important information from the CRISP database is now available at this link in an easily accessible and searchable system.

capture  ecran en

More than 1000 documents, in 10 thematics, are available to public, researchers, scientists, students and decision makers at local, regional and global levels.

For more information on the CRISP program, read « CRISP« .

2014 IRCP grant awarding Jodie Rummer tells us about her research with sharks

Jodie and blacktip reef shark at CRIOBE« Globally, increased greenhouse gases due to agricultural and industrial development and the growing world population are resulting in a rapid increase in atmospheric CO2 at a rate 100 times faster than has ever been recorded in history. The oceans are absorbing approximately 30% of the atmospheric CO2, and the resulting reduction in ocean pH is predicted to be by as much as 0.3-0.4 units by the year 2100. Information necessary to understand how ocean acidification will affect marine life, especially tropical species that are predicted to be some of the most affected due to warmer temperatures, is lacking. Some studies suggest that, while elevated CO2 may not negatively affect physiological performance of some species, behaviours related to predator detection and decision-making may be impaired.  Understanding the impact of elevated CO2 on higher order predators, like elasmobranchs (sharks, skates, and rays), and interactions between ocean acidification and predator-prey dynamics will be pivotal to the continued health of coral reef and tropical ecosystems.

shark release, Moorea / L. Thiault

labwork at CRIOBE, Moorea

labwork at CRIOBE, Moorea

I investigated the physiological and behavioural effects of acute and prolonged exposure to elevated CO2 – levels chosen to simulate what is projected for the year 2100 (~1000µatm) – on juvenile blacktip reef sharks (Carcharhinus melanopterus).  Newly pupped sharks were collected via gillnet from Moorea lagoons and mangroves and held in flow-through aquaria at CRIOBE throughout the duration of the study, under either control or elevated CO2 conditions.  After 3 days and after 30 days I compared maximum and resting metabolic rates, recovery from exercise, and resting blood parameters between control and elevated CO2 exposed sharks. In addition, throughout the entire duration of the study, I also compared swimming behaviours, group interactions, and responses to food odors between groups. Given that these sharks utilize shallow lagoon and mangrove habitats as soon as they are born and during the first several months of their lives, it may be crucial for them to tolerate variations in water quality in order to exploit such areas for protection from predators and food sources. If more energy is required and/or activity is impaired under these experimental conditions, it could suggest that predator-prey and food web dynamics will be dramatically disrupted with climate change.

Data analyses are underway; however, it is already clear that the combination of ecology and physiology in this study is making for meaningful conclusions important to conservation issues regarding the effects of climate change on long-living, slow-to-reproduce tropical shark species that are key to healthy ecosystems. »

Jodie L. Rummer, Ph.D.

Australian Research Council (ARC) Discovery Fellow (early career)
ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies
James Cook University, Australia


When men think about their relationship with sharks…

… this leads to a one week workshop in October 2014 at the Insular reasearch Center and Observatory of the Environment (CRIOBE) in Moorea, French Polynesia.

The workshop was organized by the IPCR and founded by the Fonds Pacifique pour la coopération culturelle et scientifique. More than 30 french and international experts (France, French Polynesia, Australia, Fiji, Samoa, New-Caledonia, Colombia, etc.), equally devided between the scientific world, the private sector and public autorities, gathered to discuss about the sustainable development of shark populations in South Pacific, especially about their vulnerability to ever-increasing human impacts.

logos participants

To the Agenda  (Complet agenda available here) :

  • The importance of sharks in marine ecosystem biodiversity,
  • Their overfishing,
  • The role and efficiency of shark sanctuaries,
  • The ecotourism,
  • Sharks in Polynesian culture,
  • Human-Shark relationship.

The final list of participants and of oral presentations is available here

Requin Pointe Noire - Polynésie française - C.Berthe

Black-tip shark – French Polynesia / C.Berthe

The outcome of this workshop is a document outlining the core priorities to be addressed as soon as possible for ensuring the conservation and sustainable management of shark and ray populations in the Pacific. Some of the conclusions addressed to policy and decision-makers are listed below:

General statements 

  • Many shark and ray populations in the Pacific have been severely depleted by overfishing.
  • Eco-tourism has been demonstrated to be a successful alternative use of sharks and rays in several countries of the Pacific.


  • There is an urgent need for improved and effective management, regulation and enforcement in fisheries affecting shark populations.
  • Guidelines and standards are needed to improve management of shark and ray eco-tourism.
  • The negative image of sharks amongst the general public must be improved in order to influence community behaviour and political decision-making.

colloque participants

For more information, read also the article on october 14th  « L’homme et le requin, des pistes pour vivre ensemble »  and the article on october 20th « Colloque sur le requin » from the Dépêche de Tahiti.

French Polynesian crustaceans reviewed by Prof. Joseph Poupin

A crustacean taxonomy training, funded by the IPCR, was carried out at the Criobe in November 2014. It aimed to update the crustacean collection of the Criobe started in 1984 and to develop reliable carcinological knowledge bases  to the technical Criobe staff.


Joseph Poupin identifying shrimps in the collection room of the Criobe – Moorea


A à C : Some species founded during sampling sessions on Moorea Island : A) Axiopsis serratifrons, B) Daldorfia horrida, C) Periclimenella spinifera. D : Technical staff of the Criobe during training.

The Ecology of French Polynesia decapode and stomatopode crustaceans  has been studied in four PhD thesis at the Criobe:

  • Crustaceans related to algae  (Naim thesis-1980);
  • Crustaceans related to corals (Odinet thesis -1983);
  • Reptantia and Stomatopoda Decapoda (Monteforte thesis-1984);
  • Freshwater fauna (Marquet thesis-1988).

A total of 1 200 species of crustaceans is currently known in French Polynesia, including a large amount of deep-sea species. It is estimated that as many species are still to be discovered.

First goal of the 2014 training was to provide reliable knowledge bases of curstacean taxonomy to the technical Criobe staff. The training consisted of five morning’s courses and half a day in the field.  The Criobe owned 60 species in its museum. The presence of Prof. Poupin, one of the few international experts on coral reef curstaceans,  enabled to double the collection and provide reference samples, allowing for exemple bio-molecular sequencing to be conducted.

Cardisoma carnifex or Tupa in Polinesian

Cardisoma carnifex or Tupa in Polinesian

Prof. Poupin provided a lot of associated documents for participants of the traning (PowerPoint presentations, taxonomy keys, FAO guide). Theses documents are available at the Criobe. Joseph Poupin created also a database to help for the inventory of the crustacean Decapoda and Stomatopoda with special interest for those collected in French overseas territories. CRUSTA database is available at the following adresse :

The training report is available here (in French) and a dedicated web page has been set up to the Criobe Collection on the CRUSTA database :

Applications for IRCP GRANTS 2015 are now open!




In the context of a partnership between Institute for Pacific Coral Reefs (IRCP) and two french polynesian firms, Société des Nouveaux Hôtels (SNH) and Société Polynésienne de Développement Durable (SPDD), some grants are available to young scientists (Master, PhD, Post-doctorate or degrees of similar levels  – < 35 yrs) of French nationality or foreigners to conduct a scientific project in the French Polynesia coral reefs.

Each year, four candidates are selected by the IRCP scientific committee in which some members of the Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC) are included. Among the 4 candidates selected, at least one candidate will come from South Pacific Island States in order to promote training for scientific research in these countries. The sum of each grant will be 4.500 € (euros), in order to cover travel expenses to and from French Polynesia, accommodation and research costs.

Selected candidates will perform their respective projects in no more than 12 months, following the grant notification. A preliminary report will be written in the month following the end of field work. A final report, including at least one publication project in a peer reviewed scientific journal of a high standard, will be provided by the successful candidate in the following year. The grant should be mentioned in reports and publications under the name “IRCP – Société des Nouveaux Hôtels – Société Polynésienne de Développement Durable”.

For 2015, four  young scientists will be selected. Applications will include a CV (3 pages max), a research project (5 pages max), a financial appendix (including estimated expenses – 1 page max).

Please send applications before January 12th 2015 to: or 

The final answer of the four selected candidates will be announced on February 18th 2015.

Société des Nouveaux Hôtels (SNH) et la Société Polynésienne de Développement Durable (SPDD)

Société des
Nouveaux Hôtels (SNH) et la Société Polynésienne de Développement Durable