[Coral-List] Parrotfishes and coral reef health

Steve LeGore slegore at mindspring.com
Mon Feb 20 23:02:17 EST 2017

Billy, I have known you for more than 50 years.  For us, the "long hall" is kind of a figurative and wishful thought.  Keep going along as you can though,my friend.

-----Original Message-----
>From: Billy Causey - NOAA Federal <billy.causey at noaa.gov>
>Sent: Feb 20, 2017 10:09 AM
>To: Tim McClanahan <tmcclanahan at wcs.org>
>Cc: Dennis Hubbard <dennis.hubbard at oberlin.edu>, "coral-list at coral.aoml.noaa.gov" <coral-list at coral.aoml.noaa.gov>, Peter Sale <sale at uwindsor.ca>, "Les Kaufman (lesk at bu.edu)" <lesk at bu.edu>
>Subject: Re: [Coral-List] Parrotfishes and coral reef health
>Thank you for attaching these papers.  I did not abandon this conversation
>with you, Peter, Les, Judy and others, but was driving 415 miles from
>Central Florida to the Keys and could not keep up.
>Speaking of Central Florida and the Keys, my wife and I have a ranch in the
>Middle of the State, surrounded by climate change deniers, whereas around
>my home in the Keys, people see the issues caused by climate change and it
>was the commercial fishermen that agreed with me in 1979-1980 that
>environmental conditions were changing.
>The stories are not the same for every community, just as the impacts
>change (e.g. pine beetles killing pines during droughts, lengthy droughts
>etc) for areas like around my ranch.  Yet, people go out of their way to be
>critical of anyone espousing the problems with a changing climate.
>I am in this for the long-haul and would like to help in some way to shape
>messages based on real examples to reach a broader audience.  During the GW
>Bush administrations I was cautioned routinely about giving talks on the cc
>impacts to coral reefs.  Finally, we came to agreement that I could
>describe what our monitoring and science was revealing, but I could not
>assign blame.  That gave me plenty of room in which I could operate.
>Count me in on helping in any way possible!  BTW, we have a Governor in
>Florida that does not believe climate change is real.
>Sent from my iPhone
>On Feb 19, 2017, at 4:54 PM, Tim McClanahan <tmcclanahan at wcs.org> wrote:
>Thanks Francesco
>That is interesting and probably not unlike many other reefs in the WIO.  I
>attached too broad surveys that will give you some context.  Unfortunately,
>I have not had much luck getting anyone in the Seychelles interested in the
>urchin story too much. Nick Graham may start to have more interest as we
>work together on similar problems and now that he is lead author on an
>urchin-related paper, he may start to measure these things.  The urchin
>data in the Current Biology paper is mine collected in many other sites.
>On Sun, Feb 19, 2017 at 1:50 AM, Francesco Cinelli <posi2donia at gmail.com>
>> Dear friends,
>> I spent last week in the Seychelles. I went snorkeling in Parslin, La
>> Digue, and some other small islands. I saw only completely dead reef.
>> Someone understands the reason for this and what were the causes of recent
>> or past and if someone is doing something for this? The bottom is
>> completely flooded with sea urchins and most of the fish is represented by
>> herbivores. I was shocked. I know very well the Maldives, the Chagos
>> islands and of course the Red Sea, but I've never seen a situation similar
>> to that of the Seychelles. I add some photos. Francis
>> Prof. Francesco L. CINELLI
>> Professor on Marine Ecology
>> University of Pisa - Italy
>> President of the Scientific Council of the International School for
>> Scientific Diving (ISSDONLUS) "Anna Proietti Zolla"
>> Member of the AAUS (American Academy of Underwater Science)
>> Past President of the International Academy of Underwater Sciences and
>> Tecniques
>> Home address:
>> Via De Amicis, 39
>> 50053 EMPOLI (FI)- Italy
>> Mob. +39.335.7110149 <+39%20335%20711%200149>
>> posi2donia at gmail.com
>> fcinelli at pec.it
>> www.issdonlus.it <http://www.issd.it/>
>> www.u <http://www.accasub.it/>nderwateracademy.org
>> Questo messaggio è di carattere riservato ed è indirizzato esclusivamente
>> al destinatario specificato. L'accesso, la divulgazione, la copia o la
>> diffusione sono vietate a chiunque altro ai sensi delle normative vigenti,
>> e possono costituire violazione penale. In caso di errore nella ricezione,
>> il ricevente è tenuto a cancellare immediatamente il messaggio, dandone
>> conferma al mittente a mezzo e-mail.
>> -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
>> This e-mail is confidential and is for the intended recipient only.
>> Access, disclosure, copying, distribution or reliance or any of it by
>> anyone else is prohibited and may be a criminal offence. Please delete this
>> message if obtained in error and e-mail confirmation to sender.
>> 2017-02-18 17:31 GMT+01:00 Billy Causey - NOAA Federal <
>> billy.causey at noaa.gov>:
>>> Peter,
>>> You, Judy and Tim, and a few others, have been right on track. I have
>>> been following this thread and communication and find some
>>> explanations way off the mark.
>>> In my estimation, coral decline continues to be the synergy between
>>> the impacts of climate change, land-based sources if pollution,
>>> habitat loss and degradation and overfishing.  Considering that
>>> overfishing affects the food chain and removal of important reef
>>> species such as the grazers.  And, I don't have time to start on the
>>> problems of fish traps and how they can remove important reef species
>>> that make up a robust reef fish community.
>>> Personally, I have added a fifth cause of reef community decline and
>>> in the Wider Caribbean that is Lionfish.
>>> Keep the good messages pouring in Peter, Judy and Tim and others.
>>> Billy
>>> Sent from my iPhone
>>> > On Feb 17, 2017, at 5:25 PM, Peter Sale <sale at uwindsor.ca> wrote:
>>> >
>>> > Kudos to Tim McClanahan, in particular, for quietly reintroducing a
>>> touch of realism into this discussion.  Coral reef decline is proceeding
>>> around the world, but seems to me to be particularly severe in the
>>> Caribbean.  (Perhaps that is because of the relatively small number of
>>> primary reef builders in that system, some of which have been savagely hit
>>> by disease.)  The decline is caused by many concurrent stressors (Judy
>>> Lang's post hit most of them in one sentence).  The relative importance of
>>> these stressors varies from place to place, and from time to time.  The
>>> long-term trajectory looks very bleak.
>>> >
>>> > I doubt any of you disagree with my first paragraph.  But if we reef
>>> scientists, and particularly the reef ecologists amongst us, cannot
>>> remember that this is a case of simultaneous, possibly synergistic,
>>> stressors acting in different ways on different species when we discuss
>>> what is happening, how can we expect other people to comprehend the
>>> magnitude of the problem?  To spend lines and lines of text on coral-list
>>> debating whether or not parrotfish grazing is to blame (as if one factor
>>> will be the leading cause of decline across time and space) cheapens the
>>> discussion and reduces any chance of articulating clearly what is needed to
>>> gain some improvement.  We can all do better.
>>> >
>>> > And please, let us stop reducing the concept of herbivory, by
>>> parrotfishes, sea urchins or anybody else, to a simple binary interaction
>>> between the grazer and the macroalgae, with the corals waiting patiently on
>>> the outcome..  What utter nonsense.  It's been well documented in numerous
>>> marine environments that algae of different species respond differently to
>>> grazing pressure.  Most macroalgae escape most of the herbivore guild
>>> through growth, so that the suite of herbivores that might keep a bare site
>>> free of anything other than a fine algal turf is quite incapable of
>>> returning a lush stand of macroalgae to that fine turf state.  Different
>>> species of macroalgae are differentially palatable to different species of
>>> herbivore, are differentially impacted by pollution, by nutrients, by
>>> storms.  I could go on.  Even understanding the algal-herbivore interaction
>>> requires much more subtle ecological insights than are evident when all
>>> parrotfishes and all algae are considered inte
>>>  rch
>>> > angeable.  If we do not improve the way in which we talk about the loss
>>> of living coral on our coral reefs, we diminish the chance of really
>>> understanding what is happening, or potentially discovering effective
>>> management actions.  We are all capable of elevating the level of
>>> discourse.  If the world is destined to lose most of its coral reefs this
>>> century, I'd like to think that at minimum, we had at least learned what
>>> was happening, and could articulate what would have been needed to prevent
>>> that eventual demise.  We cannot learn from our mistakes without
>>> understanding clearly what has happened, and the eventual demise of coral
>>> reefs, if it does happen, needs to become a teachable moment.
>>> >
>>> > Peter Sale
>>> > University of Windsor
>>> >
>>> > _______________________________________________
>>> > Coral-List mailing list
>>> > Coral-List at coral.aoml.noaa.gov
>>> > http://coral.aoml.noaa.gov/mailman/listinfo/coral-list
>>> _______________________________________________
>>> Coral-List mailing list
>>> Coral-List at coral.aoml.noaa.gov
>>> http://coral.aoml.noaa.gov/mailman/listinfo/coral-list
>> Click here
>> <https://www.mailcontrol.com/sr/TIMATJyqU+rGX2PQPOmvUoZ6CX!kCKjTXMtLlxkZukDiQ8+rDwUsY6LNvgpB8w8dtyU8QnAiOm336NGKki70Ug==>
>> to report this email as spam.
>Tim McClanahan, PhD
>Senior Conservation Zoologist
>Wildlife Conservation Society
>Coral Reef Conservation
>Kibaki Flats no.12
>Bamburi, Kenyatta Beach
>P.O. Box 99470
>Mombasa, Kenya
>Postal Code: 80107
>Cell Phone: Kenya +254 (0) 792 765 720 and 725 546 822
>Skype - trmcclanahan
>US Land lines - 530 581-7460
>US Cell Phone - 415 260 3415
>Research papers, methods, and talks
><Graham et al. Curr Biol 2017 cover.pdf>
>Coral-List mailing list
>Coral-List at coral.aoml.noaa.gov

More information about the Coral-List mailing list