[Coral-List] Fw: Re: Deadline for submitting comments on 82 corals is April 12

vassil zlatarski vzlatarski at yahoo.com
Tue Mar 30 07:32:35 EDT 2010

Your answer to the question about the criteria for the selection of precisely these 82 species sounds categorical: "NMFS had nothing to do with which coral species were chosen, so ask CBD about the specifics".  Here, in Coral-List, everybody is struggling with the complexity of the coral reef ecosystem and any selection of some species from all habitants is considered as very responsible action and requires a serious professional analysis.  We treasure the coral reefs, they deserve understanding, not red tape. It is sad that you referred entirely such important process to CBD with clean conscience.  Luckily, it is not necessary to ask CBD, because for anyone with average experience in Caribbean species is evident that this species selection is not result of a serious job. One wonders, who decided to play God and to select precisely this Agaricia, or that Mycetophyllia, while other sympatric congeneric species might deserve more attention, and
 why eyes were closed for some important reef corals?  For the level of professionalism it speaks erratum of specific name.  Talking for the Caribbean species, the selection is definitely not based on scientific knowledge.. 
The serious arguments of Dr. E. Shinn are waiting satisfactory answers.  Are you sending for them also to CBD?  Are we forgetting the lessons from the past and are we neglecting the recent geological history? 
The act of ignoring the existing knowledge on corals and reefs is irresponsible and leads to pseudoscience with undesirable consequences and to undue financial expenses.        
Please, with all due respect, take in consideration the serious preoccupations for the ill-founded process of this species selection. 
Gladly, the creative spirit is characteristic for the Coral-List.  Hope you enjoyed the posting of Melissa Keys prompted by this issue. 
Vassil Zlatarski
D.Sc. (Biology), Ph.D. (Geology) 
131 Fales Rd., Bristol, RI 02809, USA; tel.: +1-401-254-5121

--- On Mon, 3/29/10, Sarah Heberling <Sarah.Heberling at noaa.gov> wrote:

From: Sarah Heberling <Sarah.Heberling at noaa.gov>
Subject: Re: [Coral-List] Deadline for submitting comments on 82 corals is April 12
To: coral-list at coral.aoml.noaa.gov
Date: Monday, March 29, 2010, 2:03 PM

To clarify again the process --

1) NMFS was petitioned to list 83 species by the Center for Biological 
Diveristy (CBD).  CBD chose which species it wanted to petition NMFS to 
list based on the IUCN Red List.  NMFS had nothing to do with which 
coral species were chosen, so ask CBD about the specifics. 

2) Because CBD petitioned us to list these 83 species, we had to issue a 
90-day determination on whether the petitioned action (i.e., to list 83 
species of coral as threatened or endangered under the U.S. Endangered 
Species Act) MAY be warranted.  NMFS recently determined that the 
petitioned action (i.e, to list 83 species of coral as threatened or 
endangered under the U.S. Endangered Species Act) MAY be warranted for 
*82* coral species.  NMFS determined the petitioned action is NOT 
warranted for /Oculina varicosa/, or Ivory Bush Coral.

3) Because NMFS determined that the petitioned action MAY be warranted, 
we *must* conduct a status review for each of the 82 species of corals.  
As I said before, and I say again, status reviews are comprehensive 
assessments of a species' biological status and its threats, and are the 
basis for making determinations as to whether a species warrants listing 
under the U.S. Endangered Species Act.  Thus, status reviews show the 
whole picture of a species' status, and help us determine whether a 
species is in need of listing under the Act.  NMFS may find, through the 
status review process, that listing of a species or group of species is 
*NOT* warranted. 

Anytime NMFS is petitioned under the U.S. Endangered Species Act, we 
must go through a series of actions, as prescribed by the Act.  NMFS is 
legally *required* to issue a 90-day finding.  NMFS is legally 
*required* to conduct a status review when a positive 90-day finding is 
made.  Please facilitate this legally mandated process by providing 
*accurate* information, as requested in the positive 90-day 
determination for the petitioned action (see Jennifer Moore's posting, 

Here are some helpful links:
The 90-day finding for CBD's petition:

To provide your two cents on the information requested in the 90-day 
finding for any of the 82 species: 


Sarah E. Heberling
NOAA Fisheries Service
Phone:  (727) 824-5312  (727) 824-5312
Fax: (727) 824-5309
Email: Sarah.Heberling at noaa.gov
Web: http://sero.nmfs.noaa.gov/pr/pr.htm

"What good is a used up world; and how could it be worth having?"

--- On Thu, 3/25/10, Jennifer.Moore <Jennifer.Moore at noaa.gov> wrote:

From: Jennifer.Moore <Jennifer.Moore at noaa.gov>
Subject: Re: [Coral-List] Reminder: Deadline for submitting comments on 82 corals is April 12
To: coral-list at coral.aoml.noaa.gov
Date: Thursday, March 25, 2010, 9:39 AM

I would like to clarify exactly what we (NOAA Fisheries Service) are requesting at this point in time.? As described in the Federal Register Notice published on February 10, 2010, we are requesting *information* to assist us in reviewing the status of the 82 species for which we made a positive 90-day Finding under the ESA.???At this time, we have not made any determinations.? The types of information we are soliciting include:? 
(1) Historical and current distribution and abundance of these species throughout their ranges (U.S. and foreign waters);
(2) historic and current condition of these species and their habitat;
(3) population density and trends; 
(4) the effects of climate change on the distribution and condition of these coral species and other organisms in coral reef ecosystems over the short- and long-term;
(5) the effects of other threats including dredging, coastal development, coastal point source pollution, agricultural and land use practices, disease, predation, reef fishing, aquarium trade, physical damage from boats and anchors, marine debris, and aquatic invasive species on the distribution and abundance of these coral species over the short- and long-term; and 
(6) management programs for conservation of these coral species, including mitigation measures related to any of the threats listed under (5) above.

This information gathered will assist us in making a determination as to whether any of the species meet the definition of "endangered" or "threatened" under the ESA.? If any species are proposed for listing, we will issue a Federal Register Notice of the proposed rule and solicit *comments* at that time.

I greatly welcome any and all information you may have that will assist us in making our determinations.? If you have any questions about the ESA-listing process or this petition specifically, feel free to contact me at jennifer.moore at noaa.gov


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