[Coral-List] The Sensitivity of Host and Symbiotic Algal Cells

James M. Cervino (Marine Biologist) cnidaria at earthlink.net
Sun Mar 19 18:04:47 EST 2006

Dear Pete,

We actually did and continue to spend most of our time working in other countries
out-side of USA borders.  Our main focus is in the past 10 years is the Indo-Pacific
and New Guinea. I can remember a few years back when a hand full of aquarium-hobby
experts were telling me that NaCN (cyanide) does not kill corals because "we
gloom and doom types did not have enough evidence" to make the claim that it
was a respiratory inhibitor thereby leading to cell death.  Jones et al. spent allot
of time showing how it inhibited photosynthesis using the PAM followed by our paper
published in Marine Pollution Bull that HCN actually does kill corals. We wasted
allot of time debating the cyanide issue because the press (NEWS) saw opposition
from a few aquarium industry moguls as to the actual concentration that is lethal
to corals. Therefore, we basically killed numerous corals in controlled experiments
(this was a travesty) to show that cyanide is lethal to corals.  I am sure that 
the HCN debate helped force agencies to see how minor doses of HCN kills corals 
and that farming or a complete ban on imports is the only way to sustain the remaining
corals remaining in the wild.  Did the coral list debate work? Not sure, as the 
revolving door of captured corals from endangered reefs is continuing and HCN is
still being used to capture fish.  Maybe you can share this ?interesting data with
us regarding the Philippines? does it have anything to do with the Golf Course that
was supposed to open on Boracay Island?  Is the coral cay group fighting against
this? I don?t want to be an activist as I am now focusing my time on mechanisms/stresses
that impair the symbiotic association between coral and its resident algal cell.
But the Guana group really needed help so we offered to join forces. It would be
great if we can get the Pace University Law Clinic on this one as Bobby Kennedy 
and his highly competent colleagues can help us win this case if they were able 
to go outside US borders.

The Guana issue may be lost, even though we have enough evidence showing that golf
courses, dredging, and nutrient enrichment kills corals!  But the PRESS seem to 
be writing articles claiming that this development may not be stressful to the reef,
due to a few financially compensated scientists providing the government with reasonable
doubt. It does not seem to matter that the hired scientists have not published one
paper on the biology and physiology of corals, nutrient analysis chemistry, coral
diseases and coral algal interactions. It is clear that they don?t have an understanding
of the delicate symbiotic association and sensitivity concerning the skin and cells
lining the limestone skeletons on the surfaces corals, or they would not be backing
this environmental nightmare.  I hope that the scientists hired by the developer,
turn their back on this multimillion-dollar corporation that is evidently not a 
green operator. Lets all hope that they see the light and join the peoples fighting
to save the corals of this region.  What we need is for the  group that presented
a plan to implement an MPA near Man-O-War Cay to develop a MPA plan that has "teeth"
and directly addresses NON-POINT SOURCES of pollution that effect corals to be added
into their fish protection plan.  

The point being; is that this coral list server reaches, educators, press and political
peoples that look to us coral marine scientists for an up to date analysis as to
the current trends of the worlds reefs. The debate is needed. 


I believe in compulsory cannibalism. 
If people were forced to eat what they killed, 
there would be no more wars. 
Abbie Hoffman 

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