[Coral-List] Remnancy vs Resiliency: Part 2

Silvia Pinca milviapin at yahoo.com
Sun Feb 26 18:41:09 EST 2006

dear listers,
  I agree with Rick, 
  there are reefs that are considered pristine in RMI for example. No diseases, no bleaching, no eutrophication, no overfishing or destructive fishing nor boat damage threaten some of the reefs in remote areas . At many locations, we can still witness this ecosystem as clean, productive, diverse as some can only imagine it "should have been" earlier.
  No take areas or sanctuaries are indeed to be made the rule, and governments and managers in remote island countries hear this message, although thay often have to apply it not as a recovery or restoration process but as a conservation of extant natural health. This decision is often more difficult than similar action needed when the damage is instead evident and advanced.
  Also, I do not think people in the Pacific islands nor in South East Asia can agree we (they) can live "without reefs". It is not just a question of loosing biodiversity or beauty! Millions of people still REALLY depend on these ecosystems for their food AND income!
   Thank you
Richard Grigg <rgrigg at soest.hawaii.edu> wrote:

Coral reefs are not dying all over the world. We have 1000's that 
are very healthy in the Pacific, not to say there are not problems but it 
doesn't help to make sweeping false generalizations.

Rick Grigg

At 12:23 PM 2/24/2006 -0500, Phil Dustan wrote:
>Dear Colleagues,
> Again, thanks to everyone for participating in this most interesting
>thread. It also reminds me of the Reefs at Risk thread we had a few
>years back but there are more people involved now so it’s important to
>continue. And now that we’ve had the opportunity to contribute our
>thoughts, perhaps we do some good work.
> We all know that reefs are dying all over the world, in remote 
> and less
>remote locations. We know that reefs in different places are stressed by
>different things. For example, Florida Reefs show signs of stress from
>nature, land based sources of pollution as well as bleaching, loss of
>diadema, and anything else you can probably name. Rainbow Gardens in the
>Exumas, Bahamas was once pretty little patch reef, lost 80% of its coral
>cover between 1991 and 2004. But the biomarkers from there do not show
>signs of stress from LBSP and it’s probably that global warming is to
>blame. And everyone can cite an exception as well. Each reef has its own
>history and ecology.
>Let’s face it:
> The stress to reefs occurs at nested scales from local to global,
>varies in severity at different scales in different locations, is
>ongoing, and has had cataclysmic results. You can site the geological
>record of past changes and say the ongoing decline is really no big deal
>in light of what happened in the Tertiary, or say that we really don’t
>have enough baseline data to make an informed decision, or pretend it’s
>outside our control. Without human activity, natural change would take
>its course, but the human disruption has spread like a flame across the
>seas. Mangroves, kelp forests, oyster reefs, salt marshes, etc. are all
>in trouble. Dust storms resulting from inefficient agriculture spread
>spores, nutrients and pollutants across oceans at global scales.
>Everywhere is connected and the dots lead back all the way to human
>reproductive success.
> Reefs are dying all over the world. This fact puts reefs on the 
> radar
>screen at conferences, in books, in the media, and drives the formation
>of government task forces and increased agency budgets. It is my
>opinion, based on what I know, that the demise of coral reef communities
>(along with most other coastal ecosystems) is signaling a decline in the
>health of the oceans. So can we live without reefs- maybe? Will reefs
>reappear after humans leave the planet-probably? But can we live on this
>earth without a healthy ocean?- probably not. The canaries are dying
>and we have got to do more.
> As I said in my earlier remarks that started this thread, I think
>resilience is the wrong term because it gives the wrong impression. We
>scientists and managers work with the terms and understand them, but the
>everyday person, or politician, may have a very different concept of
>resiliency. Instead of remnancy or resiliency, perhaps an index of
>ecological integrity might be more realistic. Lots of us have struggled
>with this idea and there are some very good protocols, programs, and
>ideas floating. An index of ecosystem vitality comes to mind.
> As the “body of experts” I think we have to ask ourselves what we 
> are
>going to do about the coral reef crisis now. Can members of the coral
>list find some common ground upon which to proceed as a group? Or,
>should be go about our individual ways and do what we can at our own
>scales. I’d like to believe that we have more power in numbers and
>could help to generate more awareness around the planet as a group. For
>example, perhaps the National Science Foundation and National Institutes
>of Health could establish a joint program in coral reef, or oceanic,
>health and its relationship to human health. Perhaps federal regulations
>concerning sanctuaries could be more concerned with conserving a
>resource than the economic benefit derived from the resources. It is
>simply unconscionable to think that we can harvest virtually all the
>lobster and a significant proportion of the fish from a sanctuary and
>still call it a sanctuary! No take should be he rule, not the
>exception. Who in their right mind can argue that trawling is
>sustainable, or thousands of divers on a reef have little effect
.. And
>the list goes on. Science tells us that optimal yield only works if we
>had a valid baseline to begin with and we are way beyond that on almost
>every reef on the planet.
> This coral list &shy; albeit sponsored and censured by a US Federal 
> agency,
>is probably is the closest thing we have to a real time global forum for
>reef advocacy based on science. Perhaps we can begin to embark on a
>process that might help generate long term solutions that are grounded
>in science. Do people think that it might be possible to reach consensus
>on a set of 8-10 action items, or changes in the practice, that would
>forward the conservation of coral reefs right now, not that more study
>of any factor will not improve our understanding, but what do we think
>can be done right now as well as over the long term?
> Thanks,
> Phil
>Phillip Dustan Ph.D.
>Department of Biology
>College of Charleston
>Charleston SC 29424
>(843) 953-8086 voice
>(843) 953-5453 (Fax)
>Coral-List mailing list
>Coral-List at coral.aoml.noaa.gov

Coral-List mailing list
Coral-List at coral.aoml.noaa.gov

Silvia Pinca, Ph.D. 
NRAS - Marshall Islands 
Nature Resources Assessment Surveys 
Research and Education for Conservation 
spinca at nras-conservation.org 

Yahoo! Mail
Bring photos to life! New PhotoMail  makes sharing a breeze. 

More information about the Coral-List mailing list