Belize Reefs Not Dead Yet
glover at btl.net
Wed May 10 11:13:51 EDT 2000
The demise of Belizean Coral Reefs due to Bleaching, as ascribed to
a recent "Nature" article, is terribly overstated. Yes we lost some corals
in 1998-99 to bleaching, and also to Hurricane Mitch, but by no means
everything. Some species were hard hit in some locations above 30 ft depth
but many are fast growers like Agaricia and Millepora and are coming back.
The old star corals and brain corals finally gave up about 20% in places but
the reefs out on the atolls and outside the barrier are now in pretty good
shape, certainly compared to other areas of the Caribbean, and the deep
reefs got off rather unscathed. It's not what it was in 1997 on the shallow
reefs but it sure isn't as bad out here as the journalists dreamed. I
suspect the reefs in the Bay Islands of Honduras went through about the same
process, with similar eventual results.
Still, lets hope we don't get another mass-bleaching event here this year.
Pray for cold water!
Dr. Thomas J. Bright, Station Manager
WILDLIFE CONSERVATION SOCIETY
Glovers Reef Marine Research Station
PO Box 272, Dangriga Town
Belize, Central America
E-Mail: glover at btl.net
Alternate E-Mail: tom_bright at excite.com
Web Site: www.belizeweb.com/wcscoral
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