Tag Archives: Coral

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Coral Growth Plummets on GBR

A recent study has documented a historical decline in coral growth on the Great Barrier Reef of Australia. A team led by Carnegie’s Ken Caldeira compared measurements of the rate of calcification on a segment of the GBR called Bird Island between 1975 and 1979 to those made at a neighboring Island in 2008 and 2009. The team found that the rates of calcification were 40 percent lower during the 2008-2009 period than in the 1975-1979 period. 140917121225 large 300x199 Coral Growth Plummets on GBR“Coral reefs are getting hammered,” said Caldeira. “Ocean acidification, global warming, coastal pollution, and overfishing are all damaging coral reefs. Coral reefs have been around for millions of years, but are likely to become a thing of the past unless we start running our economy as if the sea and sky matters to us very soon.” Read more here.… More:

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Coral Spawning 2014, Curacao Coral Spawning

56e5Coral Spawning 1 for blog Coral Spawning 2014, Curacao Coral SpawningGood morning from the sunny Caribbean!! Aimee and I are walking around like zombies this morning after being out in the ocean till 11:00 last night filming coral spawning! Yes, it’s that time of the year again and for us it’s the one time of the year we love diving the most! Last night we entered the sea in all it’s darkness at exactly 9:30 and by 9:45 we saw our first eggs getting ready to be released. Aimee found this beautiful colony of Boulder Star Coral. Montastraea annularis that you see above and we decided immediately that this would be our 1st photo stop MOREMore:

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Our Hobby is Under Attack

pijac1 1 Our Hobby is Under AttackWe’re currently facing legislation that could put an end to our hobby as we know it. And no, I’m not sensationalizing the situation. Please don’t make the mistake of thinking you and your home aquarium(s) wouldn’t be affected, because they absolutely could. We first heard about the potential issues at MACNA 2013, and this past MACNA further solidified the urgency of action to protect our hobby. The current issues date back to a 2009 petition by the Center for Biological Diversity (CBD) to move 83 reef-building coral species under the protection of the Endangered Species Act (ESA). Just last month, the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) listed 20 of those species (5 Caribbean, 15 Indo-Pacific) as threatened. This happened after scientific information submitted by the Pet Industry Joint Advisory Council (PIJAC)—they’re on our side—proved that many of the 83 species did not warrant protection under the ESA. According to PIJAC, the NMFS will likely apply ESA’s “take” prohibitions to the newly listed coral species sooner rather than later. More: Our Hobby is Under AttackMore:

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Mr. Saltwater Tank Covers MACNA 2014 Part 1

MACNA is the premier tradeshow for the saltwater aquarium world and here’s part of what caught my eye 
MORE: Mr. Saltwater Tank Covers MACNA 2014 Part 1More:

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Corals Stir up Their Own Cocktails

A new paper published by MIT has provided a deeper understanding into how coral utilize their external cilia in respiratory and metabolic processes. “These microenvironmental [findings] are not only important, but also unexpected,” says Roman Stocker, an associate professor at MIT and senior author of the paper.  “The general thinking has been that corals are completely dependent upon ambient flow, from tides and turbulence, to enable them to overcome diffusion limitation and facilitate the efficient supply of nutrients and the disposal of dissolved waste products,” adds Orr Shapiro, co-first author of the paper. “I was expecting that this would be a smooth microworld, there would be not much action except the external flow.” said Stocker. However, upon closer, microscopic inspection, he and his team found that it is in-fact “very violent.”140901211419 large Corals Stir up Their Own Cocktails “It appears that most if not all [coral] have the cilia that create these flows. The retention of cilia through 400 million years of evolution suggests that reef corals derive a substantial evolutionary advantage” Said Shapiro, and “It’s rare that you have a situation in which you see cilia on the outside of an animal,” adds Stocker. David Bourne, a researcher at the Australian Institute of Marine Science who was not connected with this research, says the work has “provided a major leap forward in understanding why corals are so efficient and thrive. … We finally have a greater understanding of why corals have been successful in establishing and providing the structural framework of coral reef ecosystems.” Read more here!More:

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Terrible Advice Tuesdays (T.A.Tues): Coral + Bleaching = Dead

c1a7gold torch 150x150 Terrible Advice Tuesdays (T.A.Tues): Coral + Bleaching = DeadTerrible Advice Tuesdays (T.A.Tues): A coral that has turned white is dead and should be removed from your tank. The rest of the story: First things first. A coral that has turned white (called bleaching) is not a good thing. The bleaching is a sign of stress and stressing your corals is bad. And, just because a coral is white, that doesn’t mean you should immediately consider it dead. Corals can bleach out and sometimes recover. That being said, how do you know if the white coral is dead or not? For soft and LPS corals the answer is easy: as long as there is still flesh or a single polyp alive, the coral isn’t dead. Take for example zoanthids. As long as there is still a polyp visible (even if it is closed up), the coral is still alive. c1a7gold torch 150x150 Terrible Advice Tuesdays (T.A.Tues): Coral + Bleaching = Dead
For LPS coral, if there is any flesh on the coral, the coral isn’t dead – at least not yet. A LPS coral that is… More:

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BP Oil Spill Continues to Destroy Marine Life

The deepwater Horizon (BP) oil spill of 2010 has largely been written off by the media and its perpetrators as “dissipated” or “contained,” yet the affects of releasing millions of gallons of oil into the sea are still wide reaching, says a team of researchers from Penn State University. Charles Fisher, professor of biology at Penn State University framed the issue stating: “The footprint of the impact of the spill on coral communities is both deeper and wider than previous data indicated. “This study very clearly shows that multiple coral communities, up to 22 kilometers from the spill site and at depths over 1800 meters, were impacted by the spill.” Using a remote operated vehicle (ROV) Fisher and his team were able to capture high resolution photo’s of coral communities, finding that the oil had affected marine life further than one had expected from the spill site. tfisher mc297 2 7 2014 BP Oil Spill Continues to Destroy Marine Life “We were looking for coral communities at depths of over 1000 meters that are often smaller than the size of a tennis court,” added Fisher.“We needed high-resolution images of the coral colonies that are scattered across these communities and that range in size from a small houseplant to a small shrub. With the cameras on board the ROV we were able to collect beautiful, high-resolution images of the corals,” said Fisher. “When we compared these images with our example of known oil damage, all the signs were present providing clear evidence in two of the newly discovered coral communities of the impact of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill.” Read more here.  … More:

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Human Induced Feed Loop is Cause for Coral Decline

A new study performed by a San Diego State University team adds to the conversation about commercial fishing and inhabited islands around the Pacific. Many recent studies have shown how the presence of humans on an island, and in this case the act of commercial fishing along shores, can cause dramatic changes to surrounding reefs. “Corals are fierce competitors for space on the reef,” Add’s lead author Linda Kelly. “In a healthy marine environment, reefs support a vibrant population of corals and other calcifying organisms that continuously build the reef skyward.”Coral algae reef Human Induced Feed Loop is Cause for Coral Decline
Kelly and her team sampled surface water from 22 reefs on 11 atolls just south of Hawaii, sequencing millions of DNA from bacteria, viruses, and protists. What she and her team found was that specific bacteria can determine the amount of coral cover vs the amount of algae cover on a reef. Identifying which microorganisms influence key factors on a reef like metabolic processes will contribute to the techniques and approaches used in reef conservation. 
“How do you create an environment for corals to thrive?” Kelly asked. “In addition to practicing sustainable fishing, one way to rehabilitate a reef would be to transplant corals to the site. This should promote an environment more conducive to coral growth by fostering a beneficial community of microorganisms.” Read more here and get the full publication here!More:

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