[Coral-List] Bleaching in the Caymans

Billy Causey billy.causey at noaa.gov
Fri Sep 25 12:04:21 EDT 2009

It is becoming more and more impressive as to the accuracy of the 
Bleaching Warnings.  yes, we do get a few false starts, but it is better 
to be on notice and making observations ahead of time, rather than 
getting a call from a dive charter boat.  Ernesto makes an excellent 
point about being able to get in front of the disease outbreaks that are 
sure to occur.  Great work!  By the way, where is your CREWS station 
located in relationship to the coral reefs reported here?


Jim Hendee wrote:
> 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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Billy D. Causey, Ph.D., Regional Director
Southeast Atlantic, Gulf of Mexico and Caribbean Region
National Marine Sanctuary Program
33 East Quay Road
Key West, Florida 33040

305.809.4670 (ex 234)
305.395.0150 (cell)
305.293.5011 (fax)

Billy.Causey at noaa.gov

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