[Coral-List] Subject: Grand Cayman- Coral reefs

Douglas Fenner douglasfennertassi at gmail.com
Mon Mar 14 20:28:40 EDT 2016

    Your message reminded me of an article long ago in BioScience,
documenting the damage a cruise ship anchor chain did on Grand Cayman.  The
article is

Allen WH  (1992)  Increased dangers to Caribbean marine ecosystems, cruise
ship anchors and intensified tourism threaten reefs.  Bioscience, 42:

It is available open-access through Google Scholar for anyone who wishes to
read it.

To quote:  " The day was calm, but as the anchor chain swayed slowly with
the ship, it crushed, snapped, or twisted any coral in its path. Near the
anchor, the path of destruction was only 1 or 2 meters wide, but
approximately 70 meters from the anchor the path was 50 meters wide. At
this distance, the chain dragged across the face of a deeper-sloping
fore-reef, the reefs vertical step-like rise. The chain tore 8-meter-wide
coral heads from their bases and sent them tumbling down the fore-reef. The
effect was akin to an avalanche.  "Clouds of pulverized coral billowed into
the water column and settled like snow," Smith says. "Many corals that were
not completely crushed had all their living tissue scraped off." The anchor
and chain "totally destroyed" a section of reef that measured more than
2100 square meters (equal to half a football field). Another area of the
reef half that size had its coral fragmented to a height of one inch; it
later died. The sediment "severely stressed" other nearby reefs, Smith

Cheers,  Doug

On Mon, Mar 14, 2016 at 10:03 AM, McCoy, Croy <Croy.McCoy at gov.ky> wrote:

> My post is in reference to this thread....
> http://coral.aoml.noaa.gov/pipermail/coral-list/2016-March/016687.html
> Croy
> Hi Steve & Sarah,  the Department of the Environment, Cayman Islands
> Government Is committed to protecting the reefs around Grand Cayman, Cayman
> Brac and Little Cayman.   Cayman has had an enforced Marine Parks system
> since 1986, protecting all corals since 1978 including no taking of any
> marine life, via legislation. We have done much to protect our reefs,
> establishing 365 boat moorings around our 3 islands, prohibiting boat
> anchoring; only allowing vessels less than 60 feet (~18 metres) to anchor
> in sandy areas providing no grappling hooks are used, and neither the
> anchor, rope or chain contacts our coral reefs. Any violations of the Law
> carry fines of  $500,000 Cayman dollars maximum (~600,000 USD) and one year
> in jail. Upon conviction, forfeiture of the vessel or other equipment may
> also be ordered. However, the population of the islands has doubled and
> tourism quadrupled, and coastal and economic development has grown since
> the original national marine parks system was e
>  stablished in 1986. Furthermore, we have many other management strategies
> and laws in place that offer protection and conservation of species
> associated with coral reefs to ensure ecosystem integrity, and function,
> including protection of marine habitats. The Cayman Islands are not immune
> to the widespread coral reef degradation seen across the Caribbean, but
> where possible, the Department of the Environment have actively pursued
> managing and protecting them for decades.  More recently, the Cayman
> Islands Government passed our new National Conservation Law which
> established a National Conservation Council which is a lead body made up of
> a wide cross section of the general public, including stake holders,
> insuring decisions made capture all interest and produce well informed
> decisions in the best interest of the country in reference to the
> protection of our coral reefs.   Many members of coral list may also be
> unaware that following an extensive assessment and consultation ac
>  ross all 3 islands, an enhanced Marine Protected Area system has been
> planned which should protect ~50% of all marine habitats of the narrow
> shelf of the Cayman Islands as no-take marine Reserves.  This project has
> been conducted by the Department of the Environment Cayman Islands
> Government working with Bangor University (UK)  and The Nature Conservancy
> (USA).
>  More details are available on our website http://www.doe.ky/ or Darwin
> Cayman: http://www.darwininitiative.org.uk/project/18016/ &
> http://www.darwininitiative.org.uk/project/EIDPO045/
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Douglas Fenner
Consultant, corals, coral reefs, coral identification
"have regulator, will travel"
PO Box 7390
Pago Pago, American Samoa 96799  USA

phone 1 684 622-7084

Join the International Society for Reef Studies.  Membership includes a
subscription to the journal Coral Reefs, and there are discounts for pdf
subscriptions and developing countries.  Check it out!  www.fit.edu/isrs/

"Belief in climate change is optional, participation is not."- Jim Beever.
  "Everyone is entitled to their own opinion, but not to their own facts."-
Daniel Patrick Moynihan.

Record shattering February warmth bakes Alaska, Arctic 18oF above normal.
 (much higher Arctic spike than in previous El Ninos, way hotter than

Sea level is now rising at the fastest rate in 3,000 years.

Miami is flooding: "The Siege of Miami, as temperatures rise, so will sea
levels."  Sea level rising an inch a year there.

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

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

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