[Coral-List] Piney Point Fish Count Reports

Lance K.B. Jordan JordanL at nova.edu
Fri Aug 15 11:25:01 EDT 2003

Dear Todd,

I think it's difficult to say whether your findings are an "unusual
disturbance". Fish populations vary greatly over time and space, especially
over short monitoring periods. Obviously, population fluxes are the result
of many biotic and abiotic factors. Baitfishes (clupeids, engraulids,
atherinids, etc.) often move in large shoals from area to area in search of
food (among other reasons) and, therefore, are a poor indicator of the fish
assemblage structure on the reefs. Their presence, regardless of their
consistency over the last few years of your monitoring, is ephemeral. With
all due respect, I must tell you that I find it hard to believe that the
abundance of each individual species was significantly (p<0.05) lower this
"Fall" than last. An unusual finding would be a significant abundance
decrease in species which 1)are present on your reefs year-round and 2)have
shown a relatively consistent abundance throughout your monitoring. And,
even if the abundance of these species exhibited significant variations, it
may still not constitute an unusual anomaly - simply a natural variation.

Additionally, artificial reefs and natural reefs function differently in
terms of biogeography (immigration and emigration). Colonization factors
exist that we have yet to fully understand, which may have further
contributed to (and complicated) the possible variability you noticed.

The impression I got from your post was a die-off of fishes on your offshore
reefs. I really hope this is not the case.

Best Regards,

Lance K.B. Jordan
Research Associate
Nova Southeastern University
Oceanographic Center
8000 N. Ocean Dr.
Dania Beach, FL 33004

Lab: (954) 262-3619
Fax: (954) 262-4098
Cell: (954) 336-5215

NSU OC web page: http://www.nova.edu/ocean/

 -----Original Message-----
From: coral-list-bounces at coral.aoml.noaa.gov
[mailto:coral-list-bounces at coral.aoml.noaa.gov]On Behalf Of Todd Barber
Sent: Friday, August 15, 2003 9:15 AM
To: brian.keller at noaa.gov; Chuanmin Hu
Cc: coral-list at coral.aoml.noaa.gov; Multiple recipients of list
Subject: Re: [Coral-List] Piney Point Fish Count Reports

The Reef Ball Foundation has been, over the last two years, conducting fish
count surveys over artificial reefs in Manatee County.  On Wed of this week
we got in our fish counts from our "offshore" reefs which are 7 miles of the
coast of Manatee County.  Although one would hope that the Piney Point
dumping was too far away to cause an effect, we had a very striking loss of
fish....specifically speaking, our Fall monitorings have always reported
huge schools of baitfish (herring, etc) around the reefs and they were
completely absent.  All fish count population were significantly down or

Not to point the finger at Piney Point....there has also been some Red Tide
activity and higher than normal rainfall activities as well as reported
sewage overflows due to the rain in the county (any one of which or a
combination of which could be to blame).  As another note, we also recorded
the lowest D.O. levels offshore since we began surveying at 3.0 (we normally
average between 4-6) I just wanted to let folks know that something is
causing an unusual disturbance offshore in terms of fishery behavior.


Todd Barber
Chairman, Reef Ball Foundation, Inc.
President, Reef Ball Development Group, Ltd.
6916 22nd Street West
Bradenton, FL 34207
941-752-0169 (Office)
941-752-1033 (Fax)
941-752-0338 (Personal)
941-720-7549 (Cell when traveling)

reefball at reefball.com

----- Original Message -----
From: "Brian Keller" <Brian.Keller at noaa.gov>
To: "Chuanmin Hu" <hu at seas.marine.usf.edu>
Cc: <coral-list at coral.aoml.noaa.gov>; "Multiple recipients of list
BLACKWATER" <blackwater at seas.marine.usf.edu>
Sent: Thursday, August 14, 2003 5:14 PM
Subject: Re: [Coral-List] Piney Point satellite report #2

> Thank you very much for preparing and distributing these reports. I would
> like to provide a clarification about the impact of the 2002 blackwater
> event on Keys coral reefs. The documented declines of live coral occurred
> at only two of the 43 sites monitored by the Coral Reef Monitoring
> The spatial extent of apparent blackwater impacts on reef communities was
> limited, probably mainly because there are few reefs in areas of the
> Sanctuary impacted by the blackwater event. At one of those sites (Content
> Keys off the north end of Big Pine Key), the decline was from very low
> pre-existing live-coral cover to even less live coral, i.e., the reef was
> nearly devoid of live coral before the purported impact of blackwater
> (monitoring is conducted annually, and there may have been impacts on live
> coral over that period in addition to blackwater).
> Chuanmin Hu wrote:
> > Dear all: our report #2 is ready at
> > http://imars.marine.usf.edu/Piney_Point/reports/
> > Also, (if you are not aware yet,) we have generated MODIS images in near
> > real-time (within 2 hours of satellite overpass) for many areas. Just
> > come to http://modis.marine.usf.edu and choose one area (say, West
> > Florida Shelf) and click on qc.html - you'll love it! The 250-m RGB
> > images are available for some estuaries, for example "Florida Bay" and
> > "Tampa Bay"
> > Cheers,
> >
> > Chuanmin Hu
> >
> > _______________________________________________
> > Coral-List mailing list
> > Coral-List at coral.aoml.noaa.gov
> > http://coral.aoml.noaa.gov/mailman/listinfo/coral-list
> --
> Brian D. Keller
> Science Coordinator
> Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary
> P.O. Box 500368
> [Street address: 5550 Overseas Hwy., Main House]
> Marathon, FL 33050
> 305-743-2437 x25   fax 2357
> brian.keller at noaa.gov
> http://floridakeys.noaa.gov/
> _______________________________________________
> Coral-List mailing list
> Coral-List at coral.aoml.noaa.gov
> http://coral.aoml.noaa.gov/mailman/listinfo/coral-list

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