3D Coral Reef Imaging Technology Introduced

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Ashutterstock_107769461 3D coral reef imaging methodology has been introduced in the Maldives by locally based Maldives Energy and Environment Company (MEECO). At a small event held at Salt Café, Male, the methodology was introduced by representatives of MEECO and US NGO Hydrous.

The technique which involves conversion of regular photographs to detailed digital 3D images has the potential to enhance the education and research of coral reefs. It also promises advancement of the study of reefs to a new level with this innovative and cost effective method to measure the growth and systematically observe differences over time.

According to Ahmed Saleem, the Managing Director from MEECO, “Although we want to set this up to observe the El Nino next year, there is less than two weeks and we wouldn’t be able to set it up all over Maldives”.

The event showed the results of a pilot study conducted at eight islands both inhabited and uninhabited. Saleem further added, ‘Tourists can also go observe our reefs if they don’t want to go scuba diving themselves. We will have a very interactive 3D model that they can explore with their fingertips.”

The new software has been endorsed by experts who see potential for the technology to aid in the preservation and protection of Maldivian reefs from climate change or destructive methods of fishing. According to US NGO Hydrous website, ‘Photogrammetry will allow us to see exactly how our beloved reefs are affected; how El Nino brings about coral bleaching, disease and the mortality of the corals themselves.’