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Lakshadweep Islands: Not just the great barrier reef, there's severe coral bleaching in Lakshadweep too April 25,2016   |  Source: Scroll.in

In early April, Rohan Arthur and his colleagues working in the Lakshadweep suddenly saw a large number of fish dying off the island of Kalpeni. They counted at least 10 different species of fish floating up dead to the surface. This triggered an alarm for the scientists. They noted on these still and calm days in the first week of April, sea surface temperatures were soaring at 35 degrees Celsius. “That was unheard of. I had rarely encountered conditions like that,” said Arthur, who is with the oceans and coasts programme of the Nature Conservation Foundation. “By about 33 degrees, oxygen starts becoming limiting for most fish. What we were witnessing in the reefs in those three or fours days were fish essentially just struggling to breathe and suffocating in water.” The fish deaths and high sea surface temperatures signaled disaster for the network of coral reefs in the Lakshadweep and sure enough, Arthur found corals starting to bleach in the beginning of April. The threshold for corals before they start bleaching is around 30 degree Celsius. The bleaching should only get worse since May tends to be warmer than April and the cooling monsoons still one-and-a-half months away. The scientists are anticipating that when they are finally able to assess the reefs in

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