[Coral-List] Algae, palythoa, eutrophication, and restoration of fisheries

Thomas Goreau goreau at bestweb.net
Wed Mar 12 12:58:21 EDT 2008

Dear Bernard,

I've looked at reef eutrophication issues all over the world and am  
interested in what algae species you now find overgrowing the  
Palythoa.  Can you email me photos? Until the 1970s in Discovery Bay,  
Jamaica we would have small Palythoa and Zoanthus patches on the reef  
crest where corals were damaged by waves, which is where Ron Karlson  
did his PhD thesis, but after the reef went eutrophic in the 1980s  
these were completely replaced by high nutrient-indicating weedy  
algae species, just as you see in Toliara. In Ocho Rios, Jamaica, in  
the early 1950s before they killed the reef by dredging and filling  
the lagoon for hotel development, the rubble on top of the elkhorn  
reef crest was nearly completely covered with a marvelous carpet of  
bright green Zoanthus sociatus.

I remember the Tulear papers from the 1960s very well. As Coordinator  
of the United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development  
Partnership in New Technologies for Small Island Developing States,  
we have developed a list of innovative technologies for sustainable  
development of local communities, and would be interested in working  
with local partners there. A particular focus is restoration of  
fisheries working with ECOCEAN, to release fish larvae collected in  
the open ocean into Biorock reef habitat, and cut short juvenile  
mortality to predators. Who would be interested in community-based  
habitat restoration there?

Best wishes,

Thomas J. Goreau, PhD
Global Coral Reef Alliance
37 Pleasant Street, Cambridge MA 02139
goreau at bestweb.net

Dear All,

Following the political and economical desaster in Malagasy in the years
1980-90, people living along the southern littoral of this "Red Big  
, without foods, destryoed completely the reef flats to catch fishes  
(at a
size of 2-3 cm long generally, even the large groupers), crabs,  
octopus (5
cm) and molluscs.
The "Grand R?cif de Tul?ar", a so beautiful barrier reef in the years
1960-70 (when we did our thesis - M. PICHON, P. VASSEUR, M. PEYROT- 
M. HARMELIN6VIVIEN, etc.), was reduced to a detrital rubble field. In  
time, population of the land (cattle breeders mostly) increased the
population of the Tul?ar (Toliara in Malagasy) town, that reached more
100,000 inhabitants, that increased the organic particules in the  
Linked to these drastic environmental conditions, a brown Palythoa  
blew up all along the outer reef flat and the top of the spur-and-groove
system of the outer slope. It was a field of Palythoa, as a brown  
overgrowing all substrates, 150-200 m large, and along all the reef  
on more 18 km long.
Same facies occured on other reefs in the vicinity.
Today, this Palythoa had reduced in space and a green algal field  
took its
place, linked to the eutrophisation of these coastal waters.
I have slides for those interested.
This is for a Southern Indian Ocean example !

Bernard A. THOMASSIN (Dr. Sci.)
Directeur de recherches honoraire du CNRS / Centre d'Oc?anologie de
Pr?sident du G.I.S. "Lag-May" ("Environnement marin et littoral de l'? 
le de
Attach? scientifique du Mus?e Barla d'Histoire naturelle de la Ville  
de Nice
t?l. GSM (33) 06 63 14 91 78,
e-mai : ba.thomassin at wanadoo.fr

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