[Coral-List] COT current status

Kaveh Samimi kaveh_s_n at yahoo.com
Wed Jan 21 07:42:35 EST 2009

Dear Iain,

As far as I know this is the only observation of COT at Iranian side of the Gulf. 

Price ARG, Rezai H (1996) New echinoderm records for the Gulf including crown of thorns starfish, Acanthaster planci (Linnaeus) and their biogeographical significance. Fauna of Saudi Arabia (15): 386-390


From: Iain Macdonald <dr_iamacdonald at yahoo.co.uk>
To: "Fadlalla, Yusef H" <yusef.fadlalla at aramco.com>; Coral-List at coral.aoml.noaa.gov; info at crcreef.com; Simon Wilson <simon.wilson at adelphi-env.com>; Kaveh Samimi <kaveh_s_n at yahoo.com>
Sent: Tuesday, January 20, 2009 8:57:19 AM
Subject: RE: [Coral-List] COT current status

Yusef / Simon - thanks

To my knowledge no COTs have ever been seen or recorded in Qatar, but they have been suggested as a threat, perhaps this "threat" was taken out of context from the general threats to the ROPME Sea area (as reported in the ROPME 2003 "status of the marine environment") in which COT are present. Data is very hard to get here of status of local reefs especially those further offshore / disputed territority.

I would be interested to know if COT are in the UAE and how far along they get, likewise for Iran. Perhaps something interesting could be infered from the distribution. 


Iani Macd. 

--- On Tue, 20/1/09, Simon Wilson <simon.wilson at adelphi-env.com> wrote:

From: Simon Wilson <simon.wilson at adelphi-env.com>
Subject: RE: [Coral-List] COT current status
To: "'Fadlalla, Yusef H'" <yusef.fadlalla at aramco.com>, dr_iamacdonald at yahoo.co.uk, Coral-List at coral.aoml.noaa..gov, info at crcreef.com, "'Karl & Michele'" <michka at fellenius.net>
Date: Tuesday, 20 January, 2009, 4:42 AM

Hi Iain  COTS are known from Musandam, Oman, in the Straits of Hormuz. I remember  reading in the Iranian National Centre for Oceanography newletter about COTS  being found in Iranian waters west of Hormuz. Kaveh Samimi kaveh_s_n at yahoo.com,  an Iranian marine biologist, would either know or know someone who knew.  Simon Wilson    -----Original Message-----  From: coral-list-bounces at coral.aoml.noaa.gov  [mailto:coral-list-bounces at coral.aoml.noaa.gov] On Behalf Of Fadlalla, Yusef H  Sent: 19 January 2009 14:29  To: dr_iamacdonald at yahoo.co.uk; Coral-List at coral.aoml.noaa.gov;  info at crcreef.com; Karl & Michele  Subject: Re: [Coral-List] COT current status    Iain,    We have no record of COT sighting from Saudi Arabian reefs in the ROPME Sea  Area.  Are you suggesting that the COT was sighted in Qatar?    Yusef Fadlalla    -----Original Message-----  From: coral-list-bounces at coral.aoml.noaa.gov  [mailto:coral-list-bounces at coral.aoml.noaa.gov] On Behalf Of
 Iain Macdonald  Sent: Sunday, January 18, 2009 9:56 AM  To: Coral-List at coral.aoml.noaa.gov; info at crcreef.com; Karl & Michele  Subject: Re: [Coral-List] COT current status    Karl and list,    I have a different question on COT to those posed by Karl and Michele  stimulated by a recent presentation on local (Qatar) threats to coral reefs. COT  was one of the threats. However, i was under the impression that COT did not  exist this far into the ROPME Sea Area since the salinity (typically between  39-42) was to high for junvenile survival. Have i been misinformed about  juvenile survival? If the COT do not exist here (which is true as far as i know)  i do not want people to mis-direct their efforts in reef conservation on a red  herring (pardon the pun).    How far do COT expand into the area? If you work in Iran/UAE (or any other  country in the neighbourhood) let me know the furthest extent of a sighting  please.    Thanks,    Iain Macd.    --- On Fri,
 16/1/09, Karl & Michele <michka at fellenius.net> wrote:    From: Karl & Michele <michka at fellenius.net>  Subject: [Coral-List] COT current status  To: Coral-List at coral.aoml.noaa.gov, info at crcreef.com  Date: Friday, 16 January, 2009, 2:23 AM    Dear coral list and CRC,    I have been looking at the 2003 CRC info doc on crown of thorns at  www.reef.crc.org.au/publications/brochures/COTS_web_Nov2003.pdf as well as a  few other web publications.    I do environmental assessments in Vanuatu and currently there is a COT  outbreak on Efate. I am seeking fairly specific references to published  works on linkages between nutrients, algae and COTs. Not so much from a  coastal run-off perspective but more related to harvesting of herbivores and  omnivores in the aquarium trade. Efate has an very active fish and  invertebrate export. COT outbreaks are occurring in their collection areas  as well as a number of other areas. I realise there are numerous factors at 
 play. Last year this was a fairly heated topic here with many differing  opinions and official responses denying any connections between the trade  and COTs. However, both 'outbreaks' continue on Efate ...    I have been asked by a group made up of villagers, ex-pat residents, and  others seeking answers to these questions to do what I can. My background is  such that I believe these hypotheses to be true, although I have not carried  out the research. I trust that others have. After last years' mess on this  subject I have maintained a fairly low profile but now there are many people  here that are furious that nothing beyond individual groups doing COT  removals has been done. So I find myself reluctantly re-entering the  discussion of trying to persuade players that should know better, again. I  am not entering that foray again without published references.    I am looking for references on any of the following points. I am not looking  for an
 emotional back-and-forth between proponents and opponents of the  aquarium trade. The coral list has already been used for that.    Pre-outbreak stimuli  -Quite a bit of research suggests that COTs thrive in the presence of  pollution and algae that ensues. A lot of that comes from excessive nutrient  discharges in areas of run-off, like Mele Bay.  Moreover, further research suggests that nutrient discharges can actually  stimulate reproduction in COTs, outside of their normal spawning times in  Dec & Jan (when, by the way, COTs should not be collected because  handling can trigger early spawning). Other research goes yet further  and suggests that loss of herbivores and omnivores can stimulate existing  COTs to eat more, and faster. This happens because in the absence of  such fish in particular, there is more algae and especially cyanobacteria  left on the reef. And that brings us back to the first point above, that  COTs thrive in algae conditions.
 So its really about what causes the algae,  not so much as what causes the COTs directly. There is correlation between  aquarium fish collection and COTs outbreaks with respect to the issue of  the algae. It makes sense. Albeit this has not conclusively been shown to  be cause-effect, only a correlation. It is just my personal opinion and the  opinion of others that actually study  the matter. There is a heck of alot of 'bad' algae around in current  fish  collection areas, particularly in Mele Bay. This might help to explain the  COT explosion on Efate (fish collection and nutrient pollution) and possibly  Santo (some nutrient pollution), but not on Epi.      -Research is not out yet on pelagic and benthic movement of COTs. Some  people speculate that spawning COTs in Fiji are one reason behind the COTs  here. I find that a bit far-fetched but who knows? I've seen juveniles, but  not anything near larval stages. Could this be the source for COTs on
 Epi? I  don't really know. The point is that it doesn't have to be the same  reason  everywhere. Its a mixed bag, as with most disturbances in the marine  environment. It is also possible that the Epi population came from Efate. I  heard that a few years back it was on Emae, before it hit North Efate. From  Emae to Epi makes sense, but why Emae?    -It is clear that the Triton shell and the Napoleon are natural predators of  COTs. But is their depletion through local consumption enough to explain  Epi? I doubt it. Its definitely a contributor though.      Post-outbreak response  -It is clear however that coral recruitment on COTs impacted reefs (or any  impacted reefs that have lost coral) will decrease if hervivores and  omnivores are in less supply than normal. The algae prevents new coral from  settling. Moreover, dead coral covered in algae breaks off, and contributes  to loose rubble further limiting coral recruitment not to mention same  rubble
 that moves around in surge which damages surviving corals. Thus I  sincerely believe  that what we are losing now in terms of coral cover on Efate will not come  back until herbivore and omnivore fish populations return to normal. Even  then it will take a long time, considering all the pollution and global  climate stressors acting concurrently. Even then it may be too little,  too late. That in my mind is potentially a much more far-reaching issue  than determining what is causing the outbreak in the first place.      The latter point is sufficient in my mind to take a good, hard look at the  impacts of the aquarium trade here in Vanuatu.    Thank you,    Karl      **  Karl Fellenius, Director &  Michele Dricot, Manager    Vaughani Shores Vanuatu  Pangona Estates, Efate  Postal Box 3158  Port Vila  VANUATU    office       +678 29273 (AWARE)  mobileK   +678 7773329  mobileM  +678 7773326  email       VaughaniShores at vanuatu.com.vu  web        
 http://www.diveVanuatu.org  **  _______________________________________________  Coral-List mailing list  Coral-List at coral.aoml.noaa.gov  http://coral.aoml.noaa.gov/mailman/listinfo/coral-list          _______________________________________________  Coral-List mailing list  Coral-List at coral.aoml.noaa.gov  http://coral.aoml.noaa.gov/mailman/listinfo/coral-list    The contents of this email, including all related responses, files and  attachments transmitted with it (collectively referred to as “this Email”),  are intended solely for the use of the individual/entity to whom/which they are  addressed, and may contain confidential and/or legally privileged information.  This Email may not be disclosed or forwarded to anyone else without  authorization from the originator of this Email. If you have received this Email  in error, please notify the sender immediately and delete all copies from your  system. Please note that the views or opinions presented
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