[Coral-List] feel good sighting

Douglas Fenner douglasfennertassi at gmail.com
Fri Jun 26 18:52:29 EDT 2015

    I don't agree that there's no good news (and I can't see in the picture
what is in that spot).  Isn't it possible for Cliona delitrix to be in
places that don't have fecal bacteria?  That's an amazingly big coral, from
the photo it looks like it is in good health.
     The data on the populations of Acropora cervicornis and Acropora
palmata suggest that while they have experienced a catastrophic decline of
about 97%, their overall total populations appear as though they may have
now stabilized.  Maybe it's just a pause in the drastic decline to
extinction, but maybe it is going to hold.  I think any signs of
stabilization are good news.  Sure, I'd prefer to see data that they are
coming back strong.  But stabilization sure beats the steep decline they
were in.
     Not long ago there was a news item that reported a giant coral of
Pavona clavus in Japan.  It is 17 m wide, 24 m long, and 10 m tall.  From
the photo, it looked all alive and in good shape.  I think that's good
     Coral cover has been increasing in American Samoa for the last 10
years.  I think that's good news, though it is a tiny place.  But that fits
with the Bruno paper, which although it found a general downward trend in
coral cover in the Pacific, it actually hadn't gone down in the South
Pacific.  I think that's good news.
     The paper that documented the decline of the Great Barrier Reef also
reported that the reefs at the northern end had not declined.  I think
that's good news.
     There is a paper on Ningaloo reef on the west coast of Australia.  It
is the world's largest fringing reef.    Different areas went up or down,
but no net downward trend for the whole reef.  I think that is good news.
     In Chagos, a large area of coral reefs, the corals were hit very hard
by the 1998 El Nino mass coral bleaching.  But they have come back
amazingly well.  I think that's good news.
     Scott Reef and nearby reefs in Western Australia recovered well from
the 1998 El Nino bleaching mortality.

     I'm not disputing the obvious fact that there is a LOT of bad news for
coral reefs out there, almost all the news is bad and probably there is
much worse to come.  No question about the decline of reefs, we are loosing
the battle.  BUT, there are some good news stories out there, and we should
not forget them.  They are part of the reality, and we're in the reality
business (I hope) for coral reefs.  Management needs to be based on the
reality as shown in the evidence, whatever that is, good, bad, or ugly (as
the movie title goes).

Cheers,  Doug

Jackson et al 2014.  Status and trends of Caribbean coral reefs: 1970-2012.
 (for Acropora over time see Figure 18 on page 77)

Giant coral in Japan:

Bruno and Selig.  2007.  Regional decline of coral cover in the
Indo-Pacific: timing, extent, and subregional comparisons.  PLoS One  open

De'ath, Fabricius, Sweatman, Puotinin.  2012.  The 27-year decline of coral
cover on the Great Barrier Reef and its causes.  Proceedings of the
National Academy of Sciences

Speed et al.  2013.  Dynamic stability of coral reefs on the west
Australian coast.  PLoS One   open access

Sheppard et al  2012.  Reefs and islands of the Chagos Archipelago, Indian
Ocean: why it is the world's largest no-take marine protected area.
Aquatic conservation: Marine and Freshwater Ecosystems 22: 232- 261.

Gilmour et al 2013.  Recovery of an isolated coral reef system following
severe disturbance.  Science 340: 69-71.

On Fri, Jun 26, 2015 at 8:02 AM, Risk, Michael <riskmj at mcmaster.ca> wrote:

> Hello Andrew.
> Picture's fine, no worries. And it is nice to see so much coral still left
> (just a few km nw of Lameshur Bay).
> But is that a colony of the fecal bacteria bioindicator Cliona delitrix I
> see, upper right?
> ....there is no good news.
> ________________________________________
> From: coral-list-bounces at coral.aoml.noaa.gov
> [coral-list-bounces at coral.aoml..noaa.gov] on behalf of Andrew Pederson [
> andrew at reefheart.com]
> Sent: June 26, 2015 1:13 PM
> To: coral-list at coral.aoml.noaa.gov
> Subject: [Coral-List] feel good sighting
> An entire ridge at Mingo Cay (just north between St Thomas & St John, USVI)
> blanketed in star coral polyps, must have been at least 20 yards in length
> total... photo taken April 28 (sorry about the quality, bit of an unsteady
> hand behind the lens) :
> http://postimg.org/image/sgz4gh1sv/
> Cheers,
> Andrew in Seattle
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Douglas Fenner
Contractor with Ocean Associates, Inc.
PO Box 7390
Pago Pago, American Samoa 96799  USA

phone 1 684 622-7084

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website:  http://independent.academia.edu/DouglasFenner

blog: http://ocean.si.edu/blog/reefs-american-samoa-story-hope

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