This article was originally published on Conservation International‘s Human Nature Blog.

“Last month, a team of conservationists set sail from the island of Fiji. Their mission: to survey marine life in the Lau Islands, an unheralded group of islets scattered over thousands of square miles of the South Pacific.

They were seeking out species — but also clues to the health of these little-explored waters. With warming seas wreaking havoc on coral reefs and upending fish migrations throughout the Pacific, managing this area will be crucial for ensuring its resilience to climate change — and ensuring that it can continue to provide food and livelihoods for the thousands who call the Lau Islands home.

This story, the first in a series, sets the stage for a journey of discovery. Traversing hundreds of miles on a tight schedule — and with two cyclones ripping through the region — the team had its work cut out, as Conservation International’s Mark Erdmann explains…”

Read on at: Conservation International’s Human Nature Blog.