[Coral-List] Restoring sponges and earthquake reef damage on Roatan's Southside

Doc Radawski docradawski at gmail.com
Sat May 30 16:38:31 EDT 2009

The 7.3 earthquake which struck Honduras on 090528, broke off a large
number barrel sponges, on divesites on the south central coast of

I have found the following reference:

A Novel Technique for the Reattachment of Large Coral Reef Sponges
Steven E. McMurray 1 and Joseph R. Pawlik 1,2
1 Department of Biology and Marine Biology, Center for Marine Science,
University of North Carolina, Wilmington, NC 28409, U.S.A.
2 Address correspondence to J. R. Pawlik, email pawlikj at uncw.edu

Restoration Ecology

Volume 17 Issue 2, Pages 192 - 195

Published Online: 29 Oct 2008


Sponges are dominant components of coral reef ecosystems, often
exceeding reef-building corals in abundance. Large sponges, often more
than 1 m in diameter, may be hundreds to thousands of years old. When
damaged or dislodged, large sponges usually die because they are
unable to reattach to the reef substratum. Because suitable methods
for reattaching dislodged sponges are lacking, they are typically
excluded from coral reef restoration efforts. Here we present a novel
technique for the reattachment of large sponges that was tested using
the Caribbean Giant barrel sponge, Xestospongia muta. Transplants of
X. muta were conducted at 15- and 30-m depth off Key Largo, Florida.
Despite the active hurricane season of 2005, 90% of deep and 35% of
shallow transplants survived, with nearly 80% reattaching to the
substratum and growing after 2.3–3 years. This technique may be
generally adapted for securing large sponges in coral reef restoration

Does anyone else on the list have any other experience restoring large
sponges? Any comments or advice?

In addition to the sponge losses, some large portions of shallow reefs
have been devastated and some sections of wall have been  sheared off.

We will be doing some limited documentation.

Anyone interested in acquiring specific data, can email me off list.

Doc Radawski
CoCoView Resort

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