[Coral-List] NEED ADVICE!! - ACTIVE MORTALITY EVENT AT FLOWER GARDENS!
jim.hendee at noaa.gov
Thu Jul 28 06:30:36 EDT 2016
Dr. Gittings' message was incorrectly formatted (image was
attached), but due to the emergency nature of the message, I am posting
this for him. Please note this is from him, and to contact him for any
feedback (i.e., not me).
NEED ADVICE!! - ACTIVE MORTALITY EVENT AT FLOWER GARDENS!
Steve Gittings - NOAA Federal <steve.gittings at noaa.gov>
7/27/16, 5:08 PM
"coral-list at coral.aoml.noaa.gov" <coral-list at coral.aoml.noaa.gov>,
Cheryl Woodley - NOAA Federal <cheryl.woodley at noaa.gov>, _NOS ONMS
Leadership Team <onmslt at noaa.gov>, _NOS ONMS Conservation Science
Division <onmscsd at noaa.gov>, nmsprc at noaa.gov, Ed Levine - NOAA Federal
<ed.levine at noaa.gov>, Lisa Symons <Lisa.Symons at noaa.gov>, Edward
Lindelof - NOAA Federal <edward.lindelof at noaa.gov>, Bill Goodwin - NOAA
Federal <Bill.Goodwin at noaa.gov>, Bill Precht <bill.precht at noaa.gov>,
"Boland, Gregory S" <Gregory.Boland at boem.gov>, William Kiene
<william.kiene at noaa.gov>
I just got a call from Emma Hickerson, Research Coordinator for the
Flower Garden Banks National Marine Sanctuary. She's on the East Flower
Garden Bank and reports what appears to be an unprecedented mass dieoff
of numerous species of at least corals, sea urchins, brittle stars, and
sponges over a large area. She says large mats of tissue are sloughing
off and there appear to be large bacterial mats on the bottom. Large
amounts of material and haze in the water is making for virtually zero
visibility in some places. Water temperature is 86F. She isn't certain
of areal coverage, but believes it to be affecting the areas containing
at least three mooring buoys (4, 5, and 6). I believe these buoys are
about 100 m from one another. She did not see it at Buoy 2 (the
long-term monitoring study site), which is on the east edge of the reef
a similar distance away. They will continue survey and do random drops
to determine the extent.
1) Emma would like advice on collection and preservation of materials.
They have ethanol, formalin, and freezer space on board, but I don't
know about other details (jars, etc.)
2) Does anyone believe that an emergency closure is warranted to reduce
spread of the problem by divers, or for any other reason?
3) They are disinfecting dive gear, I believe with a vinegar solution.
Any additional suggestions on better or additional protocols?
Thanks very much for any advice. I can pass it along to the field crew
via sat phone.
Dr. Steve Gittings, Science Coordinator
NOAA Office of National Marine Sanctuaries
1305 East West Hwy., N/ORM62
Silver Spring, MD 20910
(240) 533-0708 (w), (301) 529-1854 (c)
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