[Coral-List] Seychelles bleaching impacts 1998

Thomas Goreau goreau at bestweb.net
Thu Nov 2 08:32:02 EST 2006

Dear Simon,

As far as I know the only studies of the same reef transects before,  
during, and after 1998 bleaching in the Seychelles (or anywhere) were  
documented by digital video and in three reports to the Seychelles  




The actual reports of observations made before, during, and  
immediately after bleaching was over all seem to have been ignored by  
people who did studies long after the corals were dead, and who did  
not know them when they were alive. The video transects clearly show  
the enormity of the disaster. After seeing them, the Director of the  
Seychelles Marine Park Authority said that if this had happened to  
forests on land, no one would be in denial.

At that time I wrote a proposal to rescue the corals from the only  
site left in the high islands with good surviving coral cover, which  
was due to be immediately destroyed by dredging, and transplant them  
to a clean site, which the Seychelles Government submitted to the  
World Bank GEF, who refused to fund it, apparently due to reviewers  
who denied that any rescue and restoration was needed, and opposition  
to GEF funding for adaptation to climate change from the developed  
countries. As a result the last healthy population of corals in the  
high islands to survive the bleaching were killed by dredging.

As I pointed out in 1998 and in subsequent visits to the Seychelles,  
there has been some recovery, but very little indeed. Repeated  
efforts to set up reef restoration projects there have met with lack  
of support and funding.

Best wishes,

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

>>>> ----- Original Message -----
>>>> From: "Simon D Donner" <sddonner at Princeton.EDU>
>>>> To: Coral-List at coral.aoml.noaa.gov
>>>> Subject: [Coral-List] UNEP report
>>>> Date: Fri, 27 Oct 2006 12:40:37 -0400
>>>> Readers of the Coral-list may be interested in the UNEP Rapid  
>>>> Response
>>>> Assessment: "Our Precious Coasts: Marine pollution, climate  
>>>> change and
>>>> the
>>>> resilience of coastal ecosystems" (I was not involved, I just  
>>>> thought it
>>>> would be of interest).
>>>> The report includes case studies on pollution and recovery from  
>>>> bleaching
>>>> in
>>>> the Seychelles and on mangroves in South Asia. It is available at:
>>>> http://www.unep.org/Documents.Multilingual/Default.asp? 
>>>> DocumentID=486
>>>> <http://www.unep.org/Documents.Multilingual/Default.asp? 
>>>> DocumentID=486&Artic
>>>> leID=5392&l=en> &ArticleID=5392&l=en
>>>> Simon Donner
>>>> -
>>>> Woodrow Wilson School
>>>> Princeton University
>>>>   <http://www.simondonner.com> simondonner.blogspot.com

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