Reef Check Annual Press Con etc

Gregor Hodgson gregorh at
Fri Apr 21 21:59:05 EDT 2000

Reef Check Annual Press Conference

A brief summary of the 1999 Reef Check results was presented at a Press
Conference held at the UCLA Ocean Discovery Center in Santa Monica
today. The UCLA press release may be seen at:
Thanks to the efforts of the UCLA Media Relations team led by Jeff
Snyder, the meeting was well-attended and all major TV networks
including CNN were present and many other media including AP. On behalf
of all RC participants, I would
like to thank the many UCLA staff who contributed to this successful PR
event to spread the word about the global coral reef crisis in the lead
up to Earth Day.

I would like to clarify the UCLA press release. The 1998 Reef Check
results for coral cover were announced while the bleaching event was
still in progress. The 1998 results were interpreted to indicate that on

average worldwide, the global bleaching event was responsible for a 15%
mortality of corals (N=1000 replicates). The 1999 results indicate that
the final death toll was 10%, concentrated in the Indo-pacific, and one
possible explanation is that 1/3 of the corals that looked dead in 1998
actually recovered. The differences are highly significant
statistically. P<0.0001. There are, of course, alternative explanations.

The 1999 Reef Check was highly successful and demonstrated growing
support, with many new countries joining the GCRMN/Reef Check network.

Already in 2000, the value of an activie network as an early warning
system was shown this month when Ed Lovell, tipped off by Al Strong's
satellite interps used Reef Check surveys as a rapid method to track the

bleaching now affecting Fiji.

If you believe global warming is a threat to reefs, it is not too late
to help raise the noise level by setting up for a Dive In to Earth Day
event. The 2000 Earth Day theme is energy conservation. Register on line


Dive In events involving Reef Check are planned in many places
Hawaii, Japan, Egypt, Kosrae, Indonesia, Philippines, BVI, Vietnam,
Thailand, Australia, etc.

A hearty thank you to all Reef Check scientists, team leaders and
participants for a job well done in 1999. The results have already been
used to help in the formulation of the latest regional Reefs at Risk
assessment for SE Asia. A powerpoint presentation will be made available


Gregor Hodgson, PhD
Coordinator, Reef Check Global Survey Program
GPO Box 12375, Hong Kong
Tel: (852) 2802-6937
Fax: (852) 2887-5454
Email: gregorh at

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