Bleaching on Grand Cayman

Jason & Deborah DeSalvo desalvo at
Thu Nov 20 07:17:59 EST 1997

Dear Coral Listers--

My wife Deborah and I just returned from 5 days in Grand Cayman (actually 
our first time diving on the "Big" Island -- we've been to Cayman Brac 
and Little Cayman several times).

The prevailing winds made it necessary to dive the North Side of the 
Island our first two days there, and while the wall formations were 
spectacular, we couldn't believe the amount of coral bleaching ocurring 
in the colonies of Montastraea faveolata (Mountainous Star 
Coral--including the Flatten Plate Morphotype)!  We estimated (using 
admittedly unscientific methods) that between 50 and 60% of these 
colonies were effected at the five (5) North Wall dive sites we dove!  
Interestingly, we saw hardly any bleaching on the same kinds of coral 
colonies on the West Wall.

I've been diving in the Carribean for fifteen years and have never 
observed such a wide-spread bleaching event.

Is the scientific community aware of this going on on Grand Cayman's 
North Wall?  I haven't read anything about it, but it was the most 
obvious and widespread case of coral bleaching I've ever seen.

Please let me know if there is any information on this subject available. 


Jason DeSalvo

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