[Coral-List] Bleaching in the Caymans

Jim Hendee Jim.Hendee at noaa.gov
Fri Sep 25 08:43:34 EDT 2009

Ernesto and Coral-Listers,

    Several days ago Croy McCoy answered our queries for field
verification to our bleaching ecoforecasts (starting Sep 2) at
http://ecoforecast.coral.noaa.gov/index/0/LCIY2/station-forecasts.  Here
is his subjective assessment, with hopes for follow-up:

    "...I did a dive this morning [Sep 23], ~90-100% of corals on deep
    terrace reef and ~30% down the wall to ~100ft, with a median I would
    say of ~80% of all corals exhibiting some form of bleaching
    (location was at White Stroke Canyon, North Wall). Though the # of
    colonies bleached at depth on the wall (plating form) was a bit
    lower, some colonies were bleached in their entirety. Taking an
    educated guess to quantify, I would say we have moderate moving on
    to severe bleaching, that is well on its way."


EWeil wrote:
> I have just been informed by Croy McCoy that they are having an intense and widespread bleaching event in Grand Cayman. He went 
> diving yesterday and found totally bleached corals down to 30 m, observations indicate that close to 100% of scleractinians 
> showed bleaching signs in deeper environments, and around 80% in shallower habitats. Water temps. have been above 29 Celcius 
> since June (Hobo data). I will be conducting disease surveys in mid-November, so if anything like what we saw in 2005 with WPD 
> and YBD outbreaks during and after the massive bleaching occurs here, we will probably have a chance to document this in our 
> permanent survey transects around the island. Croy will be conducting quantitative surveys and tagging colonies in the next days. 
> On the other hand, here in Puerto Rico, there are no signs of a bleaching event. Just the usual, a few pale colonies here and 
> there. Same situation observed during our disease surveys last week in Grenada. 
> Saludos!
> EW 
> Dr. Ernesto Weil
> Department of Marine Sciences
> University of Puerto Rico
> PO BOX 3208
> Lajas PR 00667
> Pho: (787) 899-2048 x. 241
> Fax: (787) 899-5500 - 2630
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