Some coral reefs are threatened around the world due to the effects of coastal development, over-fishing and multiple factors associated with global climate change. In 2013, a monitoring programme was implemented in Western Samoa to document changes in reef communities and the impacts of natural and anthropogenic disturbances. Underwater visual surveys reported the first data on coral cover on the north coast of Western Samoa. Between 2013 and 2015, all living coral genera (Acropora, Leptoria, Montipora, Platygyra, Pocillopora) dropped from 42 % to 0 %. The interaction of crown-of-thorns startfish outbreak in 2010-2014 and unusually high temperature in 2015 could have acted as a deathly combination for the coral reefs in Western Samoa.

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Berthe, Chancerelle, Lecchini & Hedouin (2016) First report of a dramatic rapid loss of living coral on the north coast of Western Samoa. Vie et milieu - Life and environment, 2016, 66 (2): 155-157