Biologists observed a 48 percent reduction in live coral cover across the Belize reef system.
From 1989 to 2000 reefs with over 50% live coral cover declined from 36 to 29%.
Two years later, the Seribu Islands significantly recovered, with live coral cover of 20-30% (2000).
The sanctuary had been set up in the area selected to be fit for the purpose due to its coral cover.
With a good coral cover, it will also validate the site as an outdoor learning area (marine camp).
Studies have highlighted the alarming decline of coral cover in this region.
The coral cover is dense and healthy even in deep water on the steep outer reef slopes.
However, live coral cover is only about 35%.
"I fear for substantial losses of coral cover throughout the reefs," he said.
Bleaching in 1998 reduced average hard coral cover on Frankland Is.