Bonaire Bleaching (fwd)

Coral Health and Monitoring Program coral at coral.AOML.ERL.GOV
Tue Nov 14 14:30:06 EST 1995

Forwarded message from Al Strong: 

---------- Forwarded message ---------- 
Date: Wed, 22 Nov 1995 09:03:31 -0500 (EST) 
From: John Ware <jware1 at> 
To: strong at 
Subject: Bonaire Bleaching 

Dear Al, You may add Bonaire to your list of Caribbean sites which are 
currently undergoing extensive coral bleaching.  My observations took 
place during my vacation from 24 to 31 October.  Local divers stated that 
the bleaching began approximately 3 weeks earlier and water temperatures 
were reported to be approximately 91 oF (33 oC).  During the period I was 
there temperatures were 84 1/2 to 85 1/2 oF (about 29 oC) with a 80 oF 
(about 27 oC) thermocline at 125 feet (38 m).  Unfortunately, I was not 
equipped to take quantitative data, the following is from my notes and 
photographic records.  In the depth range 40 ft to 10 ft Montastrea 
annularis (all forms) were bleached extensively, virtually every colony 
was completely bleached.  Some Porites porites were also bleached.  
Agarcia sp (lamarcki?) were bleached to at least 130 feet.  Siderastrea 
sidera were bleached from 20 ft to at least 100 ft.  Large colonies of 
Madracis mirabilis were unbleached and looked like islands of color in a 
sea of white.  I saw no Acropora sp bleached nor were any Milleporids 
bleached.  There was occasional, perhaps 25%, bleaching of Diploria sp. 
and Colpophyllia natans.  Some soft corals also appeared to be bleached.  
Some of the corals appeared to be recovering color but others were 
beginning to be overgrown by algae.  In addition, a small fraction, 
perhaps 1 - 2 percent, of M.annularis had developed black band disease as 
did a few colonies of C.natans.  I will return to Bonaire in January and 
should be able to compare wide angle photos before and after.  
                               John Ware 
                        Computer Sciences Corp.  
                           1301 Piccard Dr.  
                           Rockville, MD USA 
                             301 670-2268 
                            jware1 at 

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