[Coral-List] Impact of listing 66 coral species on coral research

Eugene Shinn eshinn at marine.usf.edu
Tue Dec 18 11:07:28 EST 2012

Hi Mike, It does appear that where ever people go the corals sicken. 
I once considered it was urine...or possibly sunscreen. But I know 
people were not a problem in the past few thousand years. I have been 
hearing from friends about great stands of both species of Acropora 
especially in Rotan. As near as I can tell many are recovering in 
places where they died in 1983-84. Turks and Cacos is an example. I 
remember Ginsburg telling me that the dead A. palmata along south 
Cuba coast were growing back. He used the term resheeting ie live 
tissue growing over old dead framework. My point is if they may be 
returning from a cyclical die-off so do they need to be listed if 
they are returning? Could it be that many who are most concerned were 
not diving in the late 1970s and early 1980s? Gene

At 7:07 PM -0800 12/15/12, mtupper wrote:
>Hi Dennis et al.,
>I had the good fortune to spend 18 months in the Turks & Caicos 
>Islands, doing 2-3 dives per day on some amazing Acropora palmata 
>reefs.  I have also spent several weeks in Cayo Largo off southern 
>Cuba, enjoying the acres of A. palmata there. The one thing those A. 
>palmata colonies in the TCI and southern Cuba have in common are 
>that both sites are far from any significant human populations and 
>their associated input of sewage, sediment and other deleterious 
>substances. Much of the  Archipielago de los Canarreos off southern 
>Cuba is "reserved" for tourists, and there are only a couple of 
>small resorts in the entire archipelago.  Access to the area by 
>Cuban nationals (including fishermen) is restricted, which is no 
>doubt why the shallow inshore lagoon is just stuffed with conch, 
>lobster, and huge rainbow and midnight parrotfish, in addition to 
>amazing live coral cover (of many species, not just A. palmata). You 
>won't see reefs that spectacular anywhere near Havana or Varadero.
>While I agree with you that reefs can be highly variable in time and 
>space, it may be that the examples that you chose (high cover of 
>live A. palmata in TCI and southern Cuba) exist in their current 
>"happy" condition because they have not been subjected to the usual 
>bombardment of human influences. Or, as you suggest, their 
>"happiness" may result from an oceanographic peculiarity causing 
>high larval retention/recruitment, or some physiologically ideal 
>combination of temperature, salinity, micronutrients, or whatever. 
>Or not. Perhaps those areas actually represent what a typical 
>Caribbean coral reef looked like 100 years ago, before human 
>activities started trashing them. They reminded me of John Lewis' 
>1960 photos of Bellairs Reef in Barbados, which was absolutely 
>spectacular 50 years ago, but no longer exists due to heavy 
>sedimentation from road and building construction, chlorinated 
>swimming pool inputs, and a host of other insults.
>For now, I keep an eye on the "house reef" off the back porch of my 
>house in Camiguin (as often as I can fly out there), and hope that 
>it doesn't go sideways quite as fast as many other reefs have, given 
>that there are over 80,000 people living on that 238 km2 island, and 
>90% of them are living right on the shoreline.
>Dr. Mark Tupper
>Coastal Resources Association
>207-10822 City Parkway, Surrey, BC, Canada V3T 0C2
>Email: mtupper at coastal-resources.org
>Tel. 1-604-588-1674; Mobile: 1-604-961-2022
>Philippines Office:
>Poblacion, Sagay, Camiguin, Philippines 9103
>Tel. 63-927-921-9915


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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