James M. Cervino
cnidaria at earthlink.net
Tue Mar 14 10:33:00 EST 2006
Thanks Doug and Les for your comments,
This is just an example of no matter how many MPAs are placed in the
tropics global warming and abnormal SSTs will continue destroy the
skin residing on the surfaces of coral skeletons. I recently went to
a presentation in the Bahamas (Abacos) focusing on the implementation
of an MPA. We found it shocking that this plan never addressed the
protection of the component of the habitat that houses the fishes in
the MPA plan; the corals. The corals will not be protected; it's as
simple as that. Never once during this 2hr presentation did we see
any safeguards to protect the reef from nutrient pollution and
dredging as a result of a newly designed golf course that will reside
very close to the MPA. So, forget about global warming, we cannot
even step up to the plate and fight local developers let alone the
controlling the new energy policy put together by the Cheney
administration regarding the control of heat trapping emissions.
Look what MPAs have done for the GBR:
Good point, James.
Several people have pointed out that an MPA can only control what people do
in the MPA, they can't control global warming, and only a reserve that included
the entire watershed or catchment could have any way to control the
nutrients that come into the MPA. An MPA is a marvelous tool, but if
the public, or reef workers think it solves all the problems, we are
in deeper trouble
than we realize. Bleaching can easily kill all the coral in the
finest MPA, I bet
it did that in 1998 in several places.
Same goes for resilience, which is another great tool. But if
that resilience programs will take care of reefs even if we have
we can kiss our reefs goodby. The fastest recovering reefs in the
world will take
a minimum of 5 years to have good coral cover after mass death from bleaching.
Some will take 10 years, I bet most will take more. But the best
that it won't be too long before we have annual summer bleaching, and
mass deaths. No coral reef can recover in one year, none. Even if
reefs had 10
years, they will be missing the old corals, the huge massive Porites,
and a bunch
of others. The reefs would be greatly altered. But we are unlikely
to have that
luxury, most likely most all will be dead. We can't afford to let
or otherwise, use resiliency programs as an excuse to let greenhouse
I'm not saying that I've heard people use that as an excuse, I
just think we'd
better be ready to not let anyone get away with it.
It is likely that corals and zooxanthellae can do some adapting.
we don't know. Good chance not fast enough. Is that a risk we're
willing to take?
Even if a few corals can adapt fast enough, the reefs will be
leaving them open for all kinds of unforeseen problems. Its a risk
we can't afford
The average Frenchman produces a third the greenhouse gases that Americans
and Australians produce (on a per capita basis). France is a
I think that shows we can reduce greenhouse gas production radically,
our economies. The average Chinese produces one sixth the greenhouse gases the
average American produces. Do we have the right to tell them that
no, they can't
produce as much greenhouse gases as we do, they can't develop, they
must stay in
poverty, so we can keep the total greenhouse gas production down
waste energy in SUV's and produce six times as much? I think not.
to reduce greenhouse gas production drastically, and China (and
India) have to figure
out how to develop without producing as much as the states. I suspect we could
do it if we wanted to and put our minds to it. -Doug
Dr. James M. Cervino, MS, Ph.D.
Department of Biological & Health Sciences
Pace University New York NYC
Phone: (917) 620-5287
Web site: http://www.globalcoral.org
More information about the Coral-List