[Coral-List] Bleaching in the Caymans

alan.e.strong at noaa.gov alan.e.strong at noaa.gov
Fri Sep 25 10:32:55 EDT 2009

Hi Jim,

I was chatting on-line with Ernesto last evening...


Note the above link from our Coral Reef Watch site.

SSTs at the Caymans are presently running higher than anything we've 
ever seen [in this decade] at our Virtual Station there.  A bit of a 
worry.  The good news is the "fall" downturn in SST is close at hand.


Jim Hendee said the following on 9/25/2009 8:43 AM:
> 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."
>     Cheers,
>     Jim
> 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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**** <>< ******* <>< ******* <>< ******* <>< ******* 
Alan E. Strong, Ph.D.
NOAA Coral Reef Watch, Senior Consultant
....with AJH Environmental Services...
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
NOAA Coral Reef Watch Program
  e-mail: Alan.E.Strong at noaa.gov
URL: coralreefwatch.noaa.gov

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