[Coral-List] Re: fish bombing and tsunami effects

Helen E. Fox hfox at hawaii.edu
Thu Jan 13 07:26:46 EST 2005

I would add "extent of the damage" to Mike Risk's list of factors that will 
influence coral recovery from the tsunami.  I studied reef recovery from 
bomb fishing in Komodo National Park and N Sulawesi (working with Mark and 
Arnaz), and found that single craters in an intact reef matrix are indeed 
recovering 5 years post-blast.  However, chronic blasting before the parks 
were effectively managed has left large rubble fields (and plenty of 
"non-smart" bombing still occurs in other places).  No framework is left 
nearby, and the vast quantities of broken rubble act as "killing fields" 
for juvenile corals--abrading or burying recruits.  There has been no 
improvement in numbers or area covered by hard corals over 7 years, despite 
good water quality and plenty of recruitment.  Some rehabilitation 
treatments I installed have new Acropora growth comparable to that reported 
by Tomascik (more details on that coming out in the Feb05 Conservation 
Biology).  I imagine the damage from the tsunami varies greatly in scale in 
different locations.

Helen Fox

Helen E. Fox, Ph.D.
Marine Conservation Biologist
Conservation Science Program, World Wildlife Fund-US
1250 24th St NW
Washington DC 20037-1193 USA
Tel: 202-778-9793
Fax: 202-293-9211
Email: Helen.Fox at wwfus.org 

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