Diaseris fragilis

Simon Wilson 106422.2221 at compuserve.com
Mon Apr 13 06:23:47 EDT 1998

Dear Coral-listers

In Oman there are plans to build a large fertiliser manufacturing plant on the coast.
 During the baseline survey, a Fungiid coral, identified by a leading coral taxonomist 
as Diaseris fragilis, was found.  This appears to be the first record of this species in 
the Arabian Sea, the Gulf of Oman or the Arabian Gulf.

The coral was found in depths of between 16 and 20m on a drowned fossil reef.  
The substrate was a rock platform with a veneer of coarse sand and rubble.  The 
benthos also supported a wide range of sponge species, algae, and hydroids, as 
well as a sparse coral community including Turbinaria mesenterina, Pavona explanulata, 
Coscinaria monile, Stylocoeniella guntheri amongst others.

The issue:  This appears to be a regionally rare coral species, and special measures 
may be necessary to mitigate against the impacts of construction including extensive 
dredging.  The issue is how rare is this species on a regional scale and what would 
be the appropriate measures to reduce the mortality to this population.  Translocation 
may be possible in small areas where the coral is densest.

Is anyone aware of other records of Diaseris fragilis in the Arabian region other than in 
the Red Sea ?
Is anyone aware of a case of translocating rare corals (or other species) to sites remote 
from pending construction activity ?
Can someone pass on the e-mail addresses of D.A. Fisk and Bert W Hoeksema ?

With thanks and regards

Simon Wilson


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