[Coral-List] 82 coral species listing

Eugene Shinn eshinn at marine.usf.edu
Thu Jul 12 11:01:20 EDT 2012

Ester, Thanks for including me on this..How well I remember trying to 
get people interested in coral disease in the late 1980s. That was 
why I wrote the Sea Frontiers article...still got laughed at for a 
while. Gene  FYI, I have attached the comments I sent to NMFS. Gene

At 9:28 PM -0400 7/11/12, Esther Peters wrote:
>But are they really healthy?
>In the 1980s (I forget exactly when), John Ogden (then at the West 
>Indies Laboratory) supported my efforts to further investigate 
>white-band disease as the Tague Bay, St. Croix, populations of A. 
>palmata and A. cervicornis were dying. We submitted a proposal to 
>Puerto Rico Sea Grant, to include funding a microbiologist along 
>with my histopathology research, because we really needed a 
>microbiologist involved. PR Sea Grant told us that they would not 
>fund the requested amount, particularly the microbiologist, but we 
>should "keep monitoring the situation." That is when I lost interest 
>and due to life had "to get a real job."
>I'm finally back in an academic position and able to continue my 
>histopathology research on the acroporid tissue loss diseases, 
>collaborating with others, including microbiologists and molecular 
>biologists, as well as field ecologists and acroporid nursery 
>managers (thank you all!). This is possible because there is funding 
>since these species were listed as threatened. And I feel like we 
>are finally making progress on identifying the pathogen(s). Not sure 
>where it will lead to help these species recover, but it is the 
>first step in understanding what ails them.
>And based on research to date, an acroporid may appear to be 
>healthy, but already be infected by a rickettsia-like organism. If 
>anyone is sampling "healthy" A. palmata or A. cervicornis for other 
>reasons, I would be interested in obtaining a small subsample for 
>histopathological examination (contact me at 
><mailto:epeters2 at gmu.edu>epeters2 at gmu.edu).
>Esther Peters
>Department of Environmental Science & Policy
>George Mason University
>On 7/10/2012 5:22 PM, Ellen Prager wrote:
>>Interesting idea.
>>Just got back from the British Virgin Islands.
>>While overfishing is clearly an issue there, it was wonderful to see a 
>>surprising amount of A. palmata and A. cervicornis growing - clearly 
>>coming back and looking healthy for now!!!
>>Some nice clusters of Diadema as well....
>>Dr. Ellen Prager
>>Earth2Ocean, Inc
>>Author 2011 book, Sex, Drugs, and Sea Slime: The Ocean's Oddest 
>>Creatures and Why They Matter
>>On Jul 10, 2012, at 3:21 PM, Gene Shinn wrote:
>>>I am sitting on my boat in Marathon Florida Having just completed
>>>photographing my two main serial photography sites. One at Carysfort
>>>reef and one at Grecian rocks reef. The series is now 52 years in
>>>length. You can view the first 50 years of this series at the USGS
>>>What does the series show? The advent of coral diseases in the late
>>>1970s and the demise of Acropora cervicornis that culminated in 1983
>>>throughout the Caribbean. Decline due to bleaching and disease has
>>>continued to the present.  At both study sites which were once lush
>>>there is no longer any A. cervicornis. I found one small sickly
>>>colony about the size of a grapefruit at Grecian Rocks. I have to ask
>>>the question. Had Acropora been listed back in 1984 when it was
>>>apparent to all that the species was in a spiraling decline would it
>>>be flourishing today? The answer of course is  clearly no!  Staghorn
>>>(A. cervicornis) does grow exceptionally well suspended on lines in
>>>the water column. The question remains, will it grow on the bottom
>>>where corals normally grow. It would be interesting to see if these
>>>corals would grow if  transplanted to Carysfort and Grecian which
>>>were once the premier sites for these species. Any volunteers?
>>>Possibly the Center for Biodiversity should  fund such a study. Gene
>>>Coral-List mailing list
>>><mailto:Coral-List at coral.aoml.noaa.gov>Coral-List at coral.aoml.noaa.gov
>>Coral-List mailing list
>><mailto:Coral-List at coral.aoml.noaa.gov>Coral-List at coral.aoml.noaa.gov


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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