[Coral-List] Healthiest Caribbean reefs

Douglas Fenner douglasfenner at yahoo.com
Fri Oct 21 18:05:24 EDT 2011

I'd add Cozumel, Mexico, to your list.  At one point it was one of the healthiest reefs left in the Caribbean outside Cuba.  I haven't been back there for a couple decades so don't know the current state of affairs.  But nearly all of the reefs there are in a well-enforced national park, they had an amazing amount of fish of all sizes including some very big black grouper, and lots of coral and not as much macroalgae as elsewhere.  The reefs are in the Yucatan current which brings oceanic water to the reefs, and the reefs are upstream from the town, though last I knew they were starting to build hotels closer to the reefs.  Also I was told a porpoise park produced a large area of algae, though the park is relatively near shore and town, I believe, and most of the reefs are farther offshore and farther from town.  It has been hit by hurricanes, but at one point was recovering rapidly.     Anyhow, worth checking out.
      Cheers,  Doug

Fenner, D. P. 1988. Some leeward reefs and
corals of Cozumel, Mexico. Bulletin ofMarine Science 42: 133-144. 
Fenner, D. P. 1991. Effects of Hurricane
Gilbert on coral reefs, fishes and sponges atCozumel, Mexico. Bulletin of Marine Science
48: 719-730.

Douglas Fenner
Coral Reef Monitoring Ecologist
Dept Marine & Wildlife Resources
American Samoa

Mailing address:
PO Box 3730
Pago Pago, AS 96799

work phone 684  633 4456

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From: Amber Maitland <amber.maitland at gmail.com>
To: coral-list at coral.aoml.noaa.gov
Sent: Friday, October 21, 2011 5:43 AM
Subject: [Coral-List] Healthiest Caribbean reefs

Hello coral reef experts, 

I'm a researcher for a 3-year documentary film project, and as part of our story, we'd like to film a healthy and thriving coral reef in the Caribbean / Gulf of Mexico / Western Atlantic. 

My producer is interested in particular in Cuba (SE; Cayo Largo), Dominican Republic, and/or Puerto Rico (Desecheo? Mona Island?). However, I have been recommended Bonaire, Turks & Caicos, San Andres/Providence Islands, and the Cayman Islands. 

Do you have any advice or observations with comparisons of the places above? Should the Bay Islands be added to that list? Or Flower Garden Banks NMS? 

Many thanks in advance for your advice and time,
Best wishes,
Amber Maitland
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