[Coral-List] Imperfect helpful 60 Minutes, Cuban reefs

vassil zlatarski vzlatarski at yahoo.com
Fri Dec 23 06:18:51 EST 2011

Dear colleagues, 

The appearance of the coral reef piece in 60 Minutes with Anderson Cooper might be considered as a Christmas miracle for our forum, because the enormous interest in the Cuban coral reef system. Enough sadly, purely anthropogenic factors limit the access of our community to the this hot Caribbean reef spot.  No doubt, the scientific accuracy is a conditio sine qua non for our work, and in such unique media opportunity it obtains additional dimension.  Also, the piece would sound more completeif the reefs of Archipielago Jardines de la Reina (The Gardens of the Queen) were considered as a part of the complex Cuban reef system in its diversity, scale, geology and present day state.  The story could be more convincing with usage of the existing data of long time observations and research.  The importance of the reefs object of the 60 Minutes piece was reported in "Archipielago Jardines de la Reina.  Thirty years later, species richness of
 scleractinian corals remains high"  (Reef Encounter, 32: 30-32).  In this Archipielago  was established that the hybrid Acropora prolifera can be more fit than both parents, occupy new niches and have a bioconstructive role.  This fact urges to include the scleractinian corals in the conservation policy and re-evaluate species vs. ecosystem approaches. 



Vassil Zlatarski
D.Sc. (Biology), Ph.D. (Geology)

131 Fales Rd., Bristol, RI 02809, USA; tel.: +1-401-254-5121

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