Coral Reefs May Be Healthier Than Thought

Discussion in 'Environmental' started by Matt Rogers, Nov 21, 2003.

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  1. Matt Rogers

    Matt Rogers Kingfish Staff Member

    Dec 31, 2000
    Berkeley, CA
    Whataya know,  one with a postive spin.[smiley=cool3.gif]

    Coral Reefs May Be Healthier Than Thought
    Thu Nov 20,11:32 PM ET  Add Health - AP to My Yahoo!

    By CORALIE CARLSON, Associated Press Writer

    MIAMI - An inspection of deeper-water Caribbean coral reefs found them healthier than previously believed, scientists said.

    A three-year survey of 20 coral reef areas in the western Atlantic found those in 20 feet to 65 feet of water had an average of 26 percent living coral cover.

    Previous studies in both shallow and deep water have found as little as 15 percent coral cover, said Robert Ginsburg, a professor of marine geology and geophysics at the University of Miami.

    However, the new study used more consistent methods. "There were no data done in the same way," Ginsburg said of earlier studies. "That's really our contribution, to have done all of the surveys in the same method."

    The results were published in the July edition of the Smithsonian journal "Atoll Research Bulletin," which is just being distributed.

    British researchers in July released their own study on the health of coral reefs across the whole Caribbean basin. The scientists found coral cover had declined by about 80 percent in some areas. In others, the cover had dropped from 50 percent to only about 10 percent in just three decades.

    The new study found the healthiest coral reefs were far from land — or next to small populations. The healthiest were the Flower Gardens near Texas, the Windward Netherlands Antilles east of Puerto Rico, and Bonaire and Los Roques islands north of South America.

    The healthy reefs likely benefited from favorable water quality, and isolation from land and people.

    Areas of damaged reefs were scattered across the Caribbean — near populated areas and in remote areas, according to the study.

    "The stressors on these reefs are not simply associated with where people live," said Philip Kramer, assistant research professor of geology at the University of Miami.

    Damaged reefs suffered from a combination of problems, including disease, overfishing and other human damage, global warming (news - web sites) and weakening from the warmer waters of El Nino.
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  3. cmontana

    cmontana Plankton

    Nov 26, 2003
    Santa Ana, CA,California
    Well that's good news!

    I was wondering about the impact of reef aquaria on the world's coral reef. After all, those beauties we keep in our tanks have to come from somewhere.

    I've heard that many merchants refuse to sell corals that have been harvested from the sea, and only accept those grown in man-made coral farms.

    Is this true?