[Coral-List] Black Band Disease

MelissaE Keyes melissae.keyes at yahoo.com
Mon Mar 29 09:03:00 EDT 2010

Hello, Listers,

Dr. Shinn comented,  "Black band disease also killed Montastrea species throughout the Caribbean. Its exact cause (i.e. the source of the pathogens) has never been identified, especially around uninhabited islands in the eastern Caribbean where sewage can not be blamed." 

I am wondering if the source could be African rivers.  Fresh water floats on salt water, and there is an eastward flowing Atlantic ocean current, and surface winds coming straight from Africa to the Caribbean.  Sahara dust makes the 6,500k trip, why not water borne pathogens?

Gorgonia, sea fans, are suffering land diseases from runoff..  Perhaps a forty-odd day trip from the African coast isn't too great a time and distance for the survival of black band disease spoor.  

Also, there's runoff from the Orinoco river.  When conditions are mild, and the Orinoco's turbid fresh water plume reaches eastward of its' usual path northward between Hispaniola and Puerto Rico, the water here in the Virgins becomes so green that a diver's own fins can barely be seen, i.e. water clarity drops tenfold.  I have seen this happen twice since 1988.mel


Melissa E. Keyes
Melissa E. Keyes
St. Croix, 
U.S.Virgin Islands

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