Flesh-Eating Disease Kills Staghorn Coral  

Discussion in 'Coral Diseases' started by omard, Mar 24, 2004.

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  1. omard

    omard Gnarly Old Codfish

    Sep 28, 2003
    Silverdale, Washington
    :eek: :eek: :eek:


    Flesh-Eating Disease Kills Staghorn Coral

    KEY WEST, Fla. - An unidentified flesh-eating disease is killing staghorn coral in the Florida Keys.

    Staghorn coral, so named because of its antler-like branches, is already in steep demise in the Keys.

    Since the 1970s, 80 to 90 percent of the island chain's reef tract has died, according to the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary.

    Pollution, algae blooms, sediment and a host of diseases have been blamed, among them coral bleaching, black-band and white-band disease and white plague. But this coral-tissue-eating disease appears to be a newcomer.

    "A lot of very freshly exposed skeletons alerted me," said Dana Williams, a postdoctoral associate at the University of Miami. "But we have no idea what it is."

    The scientists determined that the disease could be spread by the small coral snail, which eats coral, but do not yet know whether humans can transmit it too.

    Scientists at the Hollings Marine Laboratory in South Carolina are trying to identify the unknown disease.

    Williams and Margaret Miller, an ecologist with the National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration, first detected bald patches of staghorn at two reefs off Key Largo last April.

    NOAA sealed off the small reefs for two months, fearful that the malady could be spread by boats, divers and snorkelers.

    In field tests, scientists pressed fragments of healthy coral against diseased branches, and watched as the six- to eight-inch fragments died within four to five days.

    The team later detected the disease present in 14 out of 17 sites.

    Another survey this past February revealed that just 10 percent of each infected colony was alive, Williams said.

    :'( :'( :'(
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  3. Land_Fish

    Land_Fish Guest

  4. Scuba

    Scuba Fire Shrimp

    Oct 24, 2003
    Mid-west, Illinois
    Not a good thing to hear
  5. NUGIO

    NUGIO Corkscrew Tentacle Anemone

    Dec 5, 2003
    MO VAL, CA
    I have this feeling every time I hear this kind of bad news, that one day when corals like these are near extinction and some others have gone extinct , governments of the world are going to turn to the reefers of the world for help and specimines to try and save and repopulate the oceans with the corals that are no longer natrualy found in the wild.
    That will be a very sad day in the least,as i feel that it will be too late >:( >:( :-/ :'( :'(
  6. Craig Manoukian

    Craig Manoukian Giant Squid

    Dec 15, 2002
    Marina del Rey, California
  7. karlas

    karlas Fire Goby

    Feb 20, 2002
    berwick, PA,Pennsylvania
    Nugio has a point they never want to fix or pay attention to things till its to late the only problem is they think everything is a quick fix, its so sad hearing news like this