Tag Archives: Coral

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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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It Pays to Put Marine Fish on Hold

fish hold It Pays to Put Marine Fish on HoldMarine aquarists are always hearing that it’s unwise to purchase fish or other marine livestock on impulse—that they should thoroughly research any stocking decision to make sure the animal in question is appropriate for their system, compatible with their existing livestock, and a good match for their level of expertise. All good advice to take to heart! Now, allow me to add one more wrinkle to the fish-buying equation: In addition to doing your homework in advance of a purchase, it’s also a good idea to wait a couple days to take home a specimen that has just arrived at your LFS. I know, you’re first impulse when you see that fish you’ve been looking for is to snap it up as quickly as possible before someone else does, but practicing a little more patience and asking the dealer to hold the specimen for just a few days might pay big dividends. Why wait? But if you already know the fish you’ve got your eye on is a good choice for your system, what’s the point in waiting any longer to take it home? Here are a few good reasons to consider: Fish that die of “mysterious” causes often do so within just a few days of arriving at the LFS More: It Pays to Put Marine Fish on HoldMore:

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The Ascent to MACNA 2014 Is Near!

pre macna2 The Ascent to MACNA 2014 Is Near!In just about three weeks, we here at Saltwater Smarts (and thousands of other saltwater aquarists from around the US and world) will ascend to The Mile-High City for MACNA (Marine Aquarium Conference of North America) 2014! This first-ever MACNA to take place in beautiful downtown Denver is being held at the Colorado Convention Center from August 29 through 31. If you attended or heard anything about MACNA 2013 in South Florida, you know the show was a resounding success. This years migration to Denver puts the 2014 event in the very capable hands of CORAL (Colorado Organization for Reef & Aquatic Life) and promises to be one of the best events yet. So what is MACNA? The Marine Aquarium Conference of North America is the longest-running marine aquarium conference in North America. Each year, the event moves to a different host city and the organizational responsibilities are given to a local host club. The conference itself is part educational symposium, part trade show, and part social gathering. With such a dynamic event, you can expect the attendees to be just as dynamic. The attendance ranges from hobbyists to marine scientists and LFS owners to industry professionals More: The Ascent to MACNA 2014 Is Near!More:

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Terrible Advice Tuesdays (T.A.Tues): Nuisance Algae Control Method Kills Corals?

Terrible Advice Tuesdays (T.A.Tues): 3 days of darkness will harm your corals The rest of the story: 3 days of darkness is a method used to control nuisance algae. The idea behind it is simple: without light, algae dies. Also simple is how you perform 3 days of darkness: just turn your lights off for 3 days. Once you turn the lights back on, you’ll be amazed to find that your corals are perfectly fine! Think about it: out on the reefs in the ocean is it a perfectly sunny day 365 days a year? No. There are plenty of MORE: Terrible Advice Tuesdays (T.A.Tues): Nuisance Algae Control Method Kills Corals?More:

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Drones Used to Combat Illegal Fishing in Belize

On the forefront of technological reef research the country of Belize has assigned drones to combat illegal fishing throughout marine protected areas, in what may be the first use of drones for conservation. “Belize has been a leader in the establishment of marine protected areas, including the world-famous Glover’s Reef Marine Reserve, but fishing regulations are difficult to enforce on the open sea,” said Julio Maaz, Communities Fisheries Coordinator for WCS’s Marine Program in Belize. “Drones offer a means of improving the rate of detection of illegal activities at a fraction of the cost required for patrol vessels.” 140722152432 large Drones Used to Combat Illegal Fishing in Belize The unmanned aerial drones will begin a new monitoring program that is a partnership between the Wildlife Conservation Society who provided the technical expertise, and the Belize Fisheries Department. “This exciting new enforcement tool will help the government and local communities protect their most valuable assets — the fisheries and coral reefs of Belize’s coastal waters,” said Dr. Caleb McClennen, Executive Director of WCS Marine Conservation. “The world’s oceans are in dire need of low cost innovations for improving the cost efficiency and effectiveness of enforcement efforts. This represents an exciting pilot program for Belize, the wider Caribbean, and nearshore marine parks and fisheries around the world.” Read more here!More:

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Terrible Advice Tuesdays (T.A.Tues): The Easy Way To Get Rid of Mushroom Corals

Terrible Advice Tuesdays (T.A.Tues): Eradicating mushroom corals requires simply cutting the top of the coral off. With the top removed, the base will die. The rest of the story: Whoever said that must have fantastic luck or be completely delusional. The only way I’ve ever successfully eradicated mushroom corals from a tank is by cutting the top off, then completely covering the base with epoxy. If the smallest amount of the base is left uncovered, it will regrow a new top and the coral will start growing again. I’ll also add enough epoxy such that I cover an extra inch (1″) of the rock around the base of the coral to make sure it doesn’t somehow find light and start growing again. Other mushroom eradication methods I’ve tried include MORE: Terrible Advice Tuesdays (T.A.Tues): The Easy Way To Get Rid of Mushroom CoralsMore:

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Mr. Saltwater Tank TV Friday AM Quick Tip: Strike A Pose And See Your Progress

Changes in your saltwater tank aren’t always easily noticeable. Here’s one way to make sure you don’t miss a thing  MORE: Mr. Saltwater Tank TV Friday AM Quick Tip: Strike A Pose And See Your ProgressMore:

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