[Coral-List] NOAA Finds 66 Corals Warrant Listing under the US Endangered Species Act

Delbeek, Charles CDelbeek at calacademy.org
Wed Dec 5 17:16:15 EST 2012

Hi Gene, might the thing that may come from this at least in the Keys if it is passed, be finally some action on the thousands of cess pools and septic tanks located in the Keys, and perhaps agricultural run-off from the Glades? I seem to recall a paper just published that linked at least one coral disease in the Keys to human sewage. So if the Acroporids go to ESA status would that have any impact on regulating nutrient sources? 

I also think that Martin Moe's work with Diadema is another angle that deserves much more attention and funding. If you look at the coral restoration efforts in the Keys you mention, the fact that those fragments are growing so well while suspended above the hard bottom may point to the deleterious effects of macroalgae on corals on the reef substratum. Limiting nutrient inputs might help with this as well, but the Diadema are the key to maintaining a healthy hard bottom in my opinion.

J. Charles Delbeek, M.Sc.
Assistant Curator, Steinhart Aquarium
California Academy of Sciences

p 415.379.5303
f. 415.379.5304
cdelbeek at calacademy.org

55 Music Concourse Drive
Golden Gate Park
San Francisco, CA 94118

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-----Original Message-----
From: coral-list-bounces at coral.aoml.noaa.gov [mailto:coral-list-bounces at coral.aoml.noaa.gov] On Behalf Of Eugene Shinn
Sent: Wednesday, December 05, 2012 11:09 AM
To: coral-list at coral.aoml.noaa.gov
Subject: [Coral-List] NOAA Finds 66 Corals Warrant Listing under the US Endangered Species Act

Dear Coral-Listers, I am still waiting for someone to explain how 
listing 66 coral species and elevating Acropora sp to endangered 
status is going to enhance their growth. We can only hope that 
listing may open taxpayer's pocket books to accomplish research aimed 
at discovering exactly what ails these corals. But, will listing fix 
the problem if the cause is discovered? Such research may take place 
if researchers have the time and patience to obtain the necessary 
research permits. Some excellent fieldwork has already suggested 
genomic effects allow certain individuals to thrive. In other words 
the strong will survive.  Warming seas of course is one of the usual 
suspects but unfortunately listing will not solve that problem.
      We should all commend those who have made important discoveries 
already by transplanting hardy individuals to special underwater 
racks and clotheslines.  These are important 
discoveries/demonstrations that indicate hardy individuals will 
eventually repopulate the reefs as they have done repeatedly during 
the past 6.000 years.  An interesting and surprising outcome of these 
coral garden experiments is accelerated growth even while growing in 
the same water that was supposed to be killing them. Listing clearly 
will not change that.  We should be thankful that most species, at 
least in the Atlantic, are already protected from physical abuse in a 
number of sanctuaries and MPAs. The question we should ask is, will 
adding another layer of expensive tax-supported government 
bureaucracy and specialized lawyers be helpful? Will another layer of 
government bureaucracy that cannot save these corals keep us from 
going over the fiscal cliff?   Yes, there will be 18 public hearings. 
How much that will cost? In  my experience these hearing exercises 
are a form of group therapy that simply softens the blow of larger 
expenses that follow.  I guess what will be will be.  It is a done 
deal like it or not.  Gene


No Rocks, No Water, No Ecosystem (EAS)
------------------------------------ -----------------------------------
E. A. Shinn, Courtesy Professor
University of South Florida
College of Marine Science Room 221A
140 Seventh Avenue South
St. Petersburg, FL 33701
<eshinn at marine.usf.edu>
Tel 727 553-1158---------------------------------- 
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