[Coral-List] Replying to Peter Sale Coral Restoration

Austin Bowden-Kerby abowdenkerby at gmail.com
Tue Sep 29 16:57:37 EDT 2015

Dear Peter,

Regarding coral restoration, your blog may have been somewhat accurate a
decade ago, but it is not an accurate description of coral restoration

Most coral restoration today is being carried out by scientists and
managers, and is focused on endangered species restoration and climate
change resilience and adaptation.  In many places corals are being put back
onto managed reefs where what killed them in the first place is at least
partially solved, and where they have not returned on their own through
natural recruitment processes even after many years.

The remnant populations of Acropora cervicornis, after surviving disease
outbreaks and bleaching etc., continue to lose genotypes year by year
throughout the region, mainly due to high levels of predation.  Many of the
remnant and resilient populations, where we fortunately collected small
samples from 2004, are continuing to thrive in nurseries, but unfortunately
these same genotypes have died out on the reefs.  The process of Caribbean
Acropora demise will continue on most reefs unless and until successful
sexual reproduction is restored in the species, and although relatively
small scale, we have successfully created diverse breeding populations in
our sites. (See the recent spawning at Lisa Carne's Fragments of Hope Coral
Nurseries in Belize Facebook site).

Good no-take MPAs in the Caribbean have not regained their lost populations
of staghorn and elkhorn corals on their own, and as such they are damaged
systems with key habitat-forming coral species completely missing. They are
mere shadows of their potential, and any studies on them will therefore not
do justice for MPAs as a fisheries management strategy. Coral restoration
is such situations is vital, and wonderful things are beginning to happen,
in spite of the uphill battle.

If you read the more recent reports and literature coming out of the
Caribbean, I hope that you will realize that most of us are not "well
meaning but misguided people", as you and others have publically asserted
in the past.

Thanks and regards,


> Message: 4
> Date: Fri, 25 Sep 2015 03:42:20 +0000
> From: Peter Sale <sale at uwindsor.ca>
> Subject: [Coral-List] What can we do to save coral reefs?
> To: "coral-list at coral.aoml.noaa.gov" <coral-list at coral.aoml.noaa.gov>
> Message-ID:
>         <
> CY1PR1101MB121045CCAA3005C7B4BAA42DC2420 at CY1PR1101MB1210.namprd11.prod.outlook.com
> >
> Content-Type: text/plain; charset="us-ascii"
> Hi listers,
> I just put up the second of two posts dealing with the impact of this mega
> el Nino, and what we can do to protect or repair coral reefs.  It includes
> an edit of Dennis Hubbard's recent cautionary comments re jumping to simple
> causal explanations and rushing out with new policy based on them.  Very
> often the simple explanation was not only simple, but incorrect.  Not
> saying do nothing, just pleading for intelligent action.
> Sorry if I make some people unhappy with this one.  It's at
> http://wp.me/p5UInC-x2
> And DO report bleaching events, as well of cases where expected bleaching
> did not occur, to coral-list.
> Peter Sale
> e-mail:                  sale at uwindsor.ca<mailto:sale at uwindsor.ca>
> web:                      www.petersalebooks.com<
> http://www.petersalebooks.com>
> Twitter:                PeterSale3

Austin Bowden-Kerby, PhD
Corals for Conservation
P.O. Box 4649 Samabula, Fiji Islands

Sustainable Environmental Livelihoods Farm
Km 20 Sigatoka Valley Road, Fiji Islands
(679) 938-6437

More information about the Coral-List mailing list