[Coral-List] Mass fishkills in Maldives

M.Shiham Adam msadam at mrc.gov.mv
Wed Nov 21 13:01:14 EST 2007

Dear Coral-List members,

I am new to the list and so this is my first posting. 

I want to report a strange phenomenon happening in the Maldives right
now. Since mid September 2007 there are fish deaths occurring in central
atolls of the Maldives.  Literally thousands are being counted every day
on the beaches.  Nearly 98% of the victims are Odonus niger (red-toothed
trigger fish). Others include more inshore trigger fish, Balistapus
undulatus (stripped trigger fish) and Balistodies conspicillum (clown
trigger fish). Only very rarely large-bodied reef food fishes are seen. 

The incidents are very unusual as there are no obvious signs of algal
blooms -although a single incident occurred on 08-10 July 2007 which has
all the signs of an harmful algal bloom. People, particularly the people
in the tourism sector are very worried. We have very few resources and
expertise, so not much can be done right now.

The waters around the reefs are clean but many say the water temperature
has been slightly higher during this year. Does any one know of such a
phenomenon. We are also looking for a specialist who could visit
Maldives to help us to explain what is going on. 

Appreciate any help. 


Shiham Adam
  M. Shiham Adam, PhD 
  Marine Research Centre 
  H. White Waves 
  Malé, Republic of Maldives 
  voice: +(960) 331-3681
  fax: +(960) 332-2509 
  internet: msadam at mrc.gov.mv 
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