Bleaching Event/Sabah/Kota Kinabalu

reefprj at reefprj at
Sat May 16 04:42:20 EDT 1998


Pulau Gaya [Gaya Island] - Sabah, Malaysia - Borneo; Kota Kinabalu

Area Affected:

Observed area approximately 4 NMiles surrounding The Reef Project Bld. 
Bld. @ 06 degrees / 00 min / 77 sec N | 116 degrees / 03 min / 06 sec E.

Weather Characteristics:

No wind.  Sea over reef is calm.  Cloud coverage at observation time at
level 5 [ARMDES Ref.].  Cloud cover at mid day at about 2/3 level.

The area has been affected by smoke haze for approximately 6 months. 
Light intensity reaching the coral reefs was reduced during this period.

Weather/Wind changes have cleared the sky of haze for the last 3 to 4
days with today being the clearest with the strongest sunlight

Observation Time:  1400 to 1530 hrs - reef tow survey by power boat

Reef Salinity & Water Temp.[THE REEF PROJECT Bld.] @ Observation Time:
35ppt / 32C


Bleaching affecting about 30 to 40 % of all live coral coverage. 
Large/thin branching Acropora colonies affected 90%. Bleaching appears
to be confined to 1 to 2 meters in depth.  Brown Zoox. algae cloud
hovering over corals - rising up to within 1/2 meter from water surface.

Giant clam population maintained at The Reef Project reef flat are
affected by 20% bleaching as well.  [Pop. @ 300 pcs.]  Both T. derasa &
T. squamosa affected.

GClams & corals maintained in open system R&D raceways with greenhouse
plastic roofing and supplemented lighting - public aquarium displays not

Tide Information:  @1230 hrs = 5.9 ft high tide

Reef Species Affected:

	Acropora - long branching forms
	Acropora - plate forms
	Astreopora - on the tops facing the water surface
	Porites cylindrica [massive reef margin colonies]
	P. lutea - On the top portions primarily ["bald headed"]
 	Psammocora digitata - top portions
	Lobophyllia - the entire colony

Reported By:  THE REEF PROJECT / Don Baker

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