Author Archive

Landing Data – a Priority for SEDAR

Our team attended the SouthEast Data, Assessment, and Review (SEDAR) meeting held in San Juan on January 26-29, 2009.  Reports from the meeting are currently available online (http://www.sefsc.noaa.gov/sedar/). One of SEDAR’s main goals is to improve the scientific quality and reliability of fishery stock assessments and encourage the participation of important stakeholders in the assessment development. Briefly, SEDAR presently recommends research in the area of data collection of landing data. Based on the information from the report titled “Consolidated Caribbean SEDAR Research Recommendations”, research is needed to design an appropriate trip-ticket data collection to make the data suitable for proper analyses of fisheries biology and economics, which include the need to allocate catches and quotas. The report also underscores specific recommendations for landed species. In general terms, better data collection techniques (and analyses) are necessary to assess stocks through fishery independent sampling efforts, surveys with hook and line and/or traps, visual surveys, and mark and recapture techniques. On potential social and economic research needs, the SEDAR report suggests that a better knowledge of the recreational fisheries is required, specifically in terms of effort and target species. Particularly referring to the U.S. Virgin Islands, SEDAR recommends studying management and environmental events and factors affecting catches. A key concern mentioned was the data gathering process in the local fisheries. Other areas or research themes that fishers and managers identified as needed:

  1. The role and effectiveness of bans, closures and MPAs for species protection
  2. Different factors involved in the variability of catches and in recruitment
  3. The role of local markets in shaping the structure of catches and selectivity of species and sizes.

Although not directly related to research, there was a concern on the flow of information from the scientists and managers to the fishers. The future construction of a research agenda will depend on the effectiveness of the shared information and the ability to successfully explain these findings to laypersons using complex graphics based on computer models.

Contributed by M. Valdes-Pizzini

Posted in: Activities

Leave a Comment (0) →

CaRA’s Efforts for Coastal Management in PR and USVI

We attended the Workshop on Ocean Observing in Support of Coastal Management sponsored by the Coastal States Organization (CSO) and the Caribbean Regional Association (CaRA) on Sept 3 and Oct 1, 2008 at the Embassy Suites Hotel & Casino in San Juan, Puerto Rico. The main goal of CaRA is to “establish and administer a sustained observing system for the northeastern Caribbean region, the Caribbean Regional Integrated Coastal Ocean Observing System – CaRICOOS to provide observations and products” (http://cara.uprm.edu) that are related to issues concerning coastal management and use. Members from the University of the West Indies, University of the Virgin Islands, and USVI-Sea Grant were active participants in this conference. The purpose of this workshop was to encourage the interchange of ideas and concerns of coastal managers and scientists from several government agencies and local institutions with the interest of improving and providing services for those particular needs from the US Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico.

Various issues of main concern included:

1.     Lack of tools (e.g., topography maps and models) that would benefit the managers in performing their duties

2.     Accessibility to the most recently updated information in a user-friendly format

3.     Political will as a constant pressure in coastal development

4.     Long-term planning for climate change adaptation (e.g., beach erosion, flash flooding)

5.     How to best guide coastal development based on models and maps that are based on USVI environmental conditions rather than conditions in the US or PR

6.     Lack of human capacity needed to obtain up-to-date information on land use, water quality, etc.

7.     Lack of technical training and expertise to maintain databases and websites

8.     Lack of interconnectivity and sharing of information among divisions in federal departments

9.     Lack of interagency and institutional dissemination of recent information on projects focused on coastal management

10.   Lack of sufficient funds for personnel and projects

Among these concerns, high-priority data needs were mentioned that addressed specific matters:

1.     Up-to-date data on wind, waves and currents throughout the USVI

2.     Watershed and wetland sampling for water quality evaluation

3.     Shoreline mapping

4.     Layered data sets for land-use plans

5.     Tsunami warning system

6.     Identifying inundation zones

7.     Light Detection and Ranging (LIDAR) habitat imagery including seasonal variations

8.     Accessibility and evaluation of information

9.     Real-time monitoring of water quality and coral reefs

Being able to find, interpret, and apply the data available through the CaRA data website (http://www.caricoos.org) is one of the major difficulties reported by users. In a personal interview with CaRA’s Executive Director, Julio Morell, one of the main tasks that they will be working on this year is the training of coastal managers and mariners on how to access and understand the data that is generated daily by the sensors located at several stations in the waters of USVI and PR.

A stakeholder council meeting was later scheduled on December 9, 2008 at the Embassy Suites Hotel & Casino in San Juan, PR. Dr. Manual Valdes-Pizzini was invited to participate in this conference. The purpose of this assembly mostly focused on stakeholder needs and maintaining collaborative efforts and relations with national and local organizations/programs such as PR/USVI state government, NOAA, National Federation of Regional Associations of Coastal and Ocean Observing (NFRA), IOCARIBE, Interdisciplinary Center for Littoral Studies (CIEL), US Coast Guard Search and Rescue, National Weather Service, and the PR Sea Grant Program.

Contributed by J. Seda

Posted in: Activities

Leave a Comment (0) →

Shore and Beach Preservation

The annual meeting of the Florida Shore and Beach Preservation Association (FSBPA) was held at the Tradewinds Hotel (St. Petersburg Beach, Florida). The conference started during the afternoon of February 18th and ended Friday morning, February 20th, 2009. The meeting brought together professionals specializing in ocean engineering, coastal modeling, environmental evaluation, mitigation, and rehabilitation. A total of 42 presentations were made at the conference. Eighteen (18) of these talks focused on coastal structure design and engineering, of which eleven (11) dealt with the evaluation of problem coastal areas and seven (7) were mainly related to the use and reliability of the current group of numerical models to describe coastal processes. The remaining six (6) presentations focused on habitat rehabilitation and mitigating the environmental effects of development projects.

Highlighting the conference, with respect to potential application in the Caribbean, were several presentations that dealt with coral rehabilitation and evaluation of biological stress. This conference and the pre-conference workshop on the US Army Corps of Engineers Coastal Modeling System provided an opportunity to canvass the coastal engineering community with respect to critical research areas in the Caribbean. The questionnaire that we used as a scoping tool is a modification of the four questions that we presented at our GCFI scoping session last November. We based our survey questions on the suggestions for research areas gleaned from an earlier e-mail survey that we conducted in 2006. Of the approximately 150 people attending the conference and workshop, 30 participants were found with experience in the Caribbean and asked to respond to our written survey. Six (6) submitted their response at the conference and an approximately equal number promised to send a response by fax or email. The results are being added to a database for analysis and new results are being included as we receive them.

Contributed by K. Grove

Photo: Beach shoreline at Bahia Honda, Florida Keys (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Florida)

Florida Beach and Shore Preservation Associationhttp://www.fsbpa.com/

Posted in: Activities

Leave a Comment (0) →

Community-Based MPAs: Case study in Puerto Morelos, Mexico

Rodríguez-Martínez, R. E. “Community involvement in marine protected areas: The case of Puerto Morelos reef, México.” Journal of Environmental Management 88.4 (2008): 1151-60.

Summary

Using marine protected areas (MPAs) as a management tool for conservation can be effective, especially when local stakeholders, government agencies and communities take an active role in the planning and decision-making processes. Sadly, few efforts have been made for co-management and community involvement in MPAs of developing countries in the Caribbean. Rosa E. Rodríguez-Martínez (2008) revises the history and development of the community-based MPA in Puerto Morelos reef, which was established in 1998 and is located on the northeastern side of the Yucatan Peninsula. The author also discusses her view on the multiple problems encountered by the MPA and presents alternatives that may provide solutions for better co-management of marine resources and serve as an example for MPAs in other countries.

The management program was initially prepared by local stakeholders and the Instituto de Ciencias del Mar y Limnología, Universidad Nacional Autonóma de México (UNAM). Mostly formal and informal sessions were carried out to discuss and resolve conflict issues concerning the use of Puerto Morelos among the local stakeholders. One of the main concerns from the community when creating the MPA was its unsustainable use; however, some groups focused on prospects for major investments in the area. To better assist the communication among the different groups, an Advisory Council with various representatives from the government and community sectors was established in 2001.

Video: Community involvement in the sustainable use and conservation of Puerto Morelos Reef (March 20, 2008)

 

Several obstacles brought about by the federal government hindered the ability to efficiently administer and achieve the MPA’s full potential. The sharing of directors with other protected areas, due to lack of funds and personnel, was commonplace and tended to delay the development and implementation of agreements decided by the Council. For several years, the MPA had no federal funding and depended on the financial support of tourist operators and volunteers. Afterward, a user fee was established by federal law to tourists, but delays in its return to Puerto Morelos hampered the adequate implementation of the management program. Insufficient personnel has constantly been a hindrance for the MPA’s success, especially with budget cuts made during 2007. Enforcement of MPA regulations also represents a challenge because of the lack of coordination and cooperation among the governmental, federal, and municipal agencies on the correct measures needed for handling marine and coastal issues. Despite the government’s deficiencies, the Instituto de Ciencias del Mar y Limnología, UNAM devoted their efforts to the scientific research of the Puerto Morelos reefs, which became part of the permanent monitoring of coral reefs conducted by the Caribbean Coastal Marine Productivity Program (CARICOMP). Presently, it is considered part of a coral reef research initiative financed by the Global Environmental Facility through the World Bank.

Community participation is an important component of the MPA management; however, the problems presented by changes in MPA directors, busy agendas, and few attendees due to a loss of interest by the local stakeholders because of neglected agreements negatively affected the community’s enthusiasm to be involved in the management program. On the other hand, public education and awareness of coral reef conservation are well-supported and essential factors of the MPA’s creation and management. Several educational programs have been implemented throughout the years, but the lack of personnel has withheld the commencement of a 5-year program for community participation in the conservation of natural resources. Projects sponsored by the Programa de Desarrollo Sustentable (PRODERS, Sustainable Development Program) have also been successful in promoting sustainable development in communities surrounding the protected area. The existence of the MPA has also helped to develop a conscious effort by the community to enforce environmental regulations and prevent the development of projects that may threaten their lives and Puerto Morelos reefs.

Rodríguez-Martínez emphasizes the importance of the community’s participation for Puerto Morelos’ development as an MPA while lacking fixed federal funds to support the management program. Although, at present, the federal government has jurisdiction over Puerto Morelos, the local stakeholders continue to partake of the decision-making process. The author suggests that collaborative co-management in the administration of Puerto Morelos is essential for supporting the MPA, rather than solely community-based or centralized management. Agreements among different levels of governmental agencies and joint planning of actions are also considered key factors that should be improved to better manage MPAs. Another suggestion is to make management decisions based on scientific and monitoring data, which should be evaluated frequently with the purpose of quickly detecting and resolving problems. Overall, the author highly encourages the active collaboration of both resource users and local communities to effectively manage and sustain the use of MPAs similar to Puerto Morelos.

To read more on this week’s Featured Article, check out our CRA Publication Database.

CRA’s Comment

UPR-SG considers community involvement an essential component for the effective management and sustainable use of marine resources. Rodríguez-Martínez (2008), based on her personal experience as a participant of the Puerto Morelos management program, strongly suggests the co-management of both government agencies and local stakeholders in order to make better decisions for the MPA. In the case of Puerto Morelos, an advisory council was appointed in order to discuss and resolve conflicts among the local stakeholders. During our visit to a regular meeting of the Caribbean Fisheries Management Council (June 2009), we observed a similar interchange of ideas between non-governmental organizations (NGOs), territory institutions for natural resource management, federal agencies, and commercial fishermen. Bearing this in mind, the CRA project intends to obtain information regarding concerns for research and management of marine resources in the Caribbean from several groups, such as NGOs, governmental agencies, scientists, and local resource users. It is imperative that all parties, whether public or private, contribute to the sustainable use and conservation of our marine resources.

Contributed by J. Seda

Photo: Boats at Puerto Morelos (http://es.wikipedia.org/wiki/Parque_Nacional_Arrecife_de_Puerto_Morelos)

National Park – Puerto Morelos Reef (Parque Nacional Arrecife de Puerto Morelos) http://puertomorelos.conanp.gob.mx/

Information about Puerto Morelos reef from the CaribbeanMPA database (CaMPAM)http://cep.unep.org/caribbeanmpa/mpa/puerto-morelos

Coral reef targeted research and capacity building for managementhttp://www.gefcoral.org/

Resource for relevant links associated with Caribbean MPAs (CIEL) – http://amp-pr.org/blog/?page_id=237

Posted in: This Week's Comment

Leave a Comment (0) →

Why Conserve our Marine Ecosystems?

Owens, Susan. 2008. Why conserve marine environments? (Comment). Environmental Conservation 35(1):1-4.

Summary

The urgency to promote the conservation of marine environments is analyzed by Owens (2008) as a moral injunction that involves acknowledging the right or wrong in using these systems for human benefit. The majority of the literature addressing this subject is in agreement that it is wrong to degrade or destroy these ecosystems and should limit human activities that cause harmful impacts.  However, the real question is why they should be conserved. The reasoning behind this principle has a direct influence on the validation for measures taken in conservation and on the types of policies that may ensue. Although this reasoning may vary over time, especially due to changes in policies and political influences, special characteristics of marine environments help reinforce the need to conserve this system. These unique characteristics include its ‘invisibility’ (e.g., presently, the ocean remains partially unknown), its vulnerability to human exploitation, and its wild nature that is in co-existence with the human world.

The author suggests that to justify the importance of marine conservation, prudent self-interest, in which the ‘services’ that are provided by these systems should not outweigh its unsustainability, is in favor of this rationale and may also be coupled with the limited understanding of these ecosystems. However, the key motivation is this: ‘the benefits of conservation outweigh the costs, such that humanity will be better off in the aggregate if the marine environment is protected.’ Several retorts argue whether the human needs and wants should overcome the efforts for conservation due to the utilitarian frameworks that prefer human welfare to be maximized and if the concept of intrinsic value, which considers non-human entities to possess rights and ‘…should be free…to pursue their own goods’, is valid when the basic needs of humans are in jeopardy. In principle, it is possible to reach a common ground in which the values and beliefs among private and public interests may concur on the behalf of conserving marine environments until these efforts are exhausted and differences in moral values may result in conflicting policies.

To read more on this week’s Featured Article, check out our CRA Publication Database.

CRA’s Comment

One of the obstacles that have been frequently mentioned in discussion sessions consisting of resource managers and users, in which UPRSG has participated, is the influence of politics on the development of strategies that may help improve marine resource management and conservation. Political agendas constantly change depending on the delegation that is governing at the time and, as a result, may alter efforts for marine conservation according to their particular interests regardless of the harmful impact that may ensue. However, Owens (2008) states that the basis for marine conservation is mostly founded on moral values and should be emphasized in order to establish a common ground among the protectors of these ecosystems and the adversaries that favor the utilitarian framework that maximizes human benefits despite possible damages to the environment. Local resource managers and users are in agreement that attempts must be made to go beyond political interests and create policies that will provide sustainable use of resources and render benefits for both humans and the marine environment.

Contributed by J. Seda

Organizations committed to marine conservation in the Caribbean:

Nature Conservancy – http://www.nature.org/wherewework/caribbean/

NOAA Coral Reef Conservation Program – http://coralreef.noaa.gov/

CORALINA – http://www.coralina.gov.co/intranet/

Posted in: This Week's Comment

Leave a Comment (0) →

Marine Spatial Planning (MSP): Stakeholders Wanted!

Pomeroy, Robert and Douvere, Fanny. 2008. The engagement of stakeholders in the marine spatial planning process. Marine Policy 32: 816-822.

Summary

For effective management of marine ecosystems, we must view them as a combination of both natural and human elements that must be mutually benefitted and sustained. Marine spatial planning (MSP) as defined by Ehler and Douvere (2007)[1] involves a process of developing management strategies that take into account all the living organisms in the marine environment and promotes consistent decision making among all sectors in a particular area. For this reason, identifying the stakeholders involved in marine-related activities and their active participation in MSP is essential for its success. Stakeholders are considered key players for resource management planning and can help to better understand the human impact on ecosystems and the complexities of these systems. They may also help to identify and resolve underlying conflicts and develop goals that are beneficial to several sectors for the sustainable, long-term availability of marine resources.

Pomeroy and Fanny (2008) propose four key stages in which stakeholders and the public sector should be active participants in order to achieve successful MSP: (1) planning, (2) evaluation, (3) implementation, and (4) post-implementation phases. In the planning phase, stakeholders must contribute to the needs, priorities, and goals of the MSP. During the evaluation phase, these issues are subsequently evaluated by the stakeholders and the various options are assessed based on their interest areas as proposed in the MSP. In the implementation phase, the MSP is applied and measures for management of marine resources are encouraged and enforced throughout the local community. An evaluation of the overall effectiveness in fulfilling the goals and objectives of the MSP is performed during the post-implementation phase.

Although there is a consensus among scientists and resource managers that stakeholders are essential for effective ecosystem-based management, there is no clear process of how to identify and involve these stakeholders in the MSP. For this reason, the authors suggest a comprehensive method of stakeholder analysis and mapping that will acknowledge and empower the stakeholders (with information and skills) in the MSP. Several steps that should be taken as part of this analysis are (1) adequately defining who is a stakeholder, (2) identifying the group/interest/networks that they are associated with and their importance/relevance in that group, and (3) their position on conservation measures of natural resources. Stakeholders can also be categorized as primary, secondary, and tertiary depending on their level of interest, involvement, and impact on the community and the resource. Socio-economic assessments (SEAs) should also be considered important for MSP in order to learn about the various aspects (political, social, economical, and cultural) that constitute (form) a community and the stakeholders that belong to that particular area. Interviews in the form of a core group are efficient in obtaining information from stakeholders, scientists, and resource managers that are willing to share their knowledge and contribute to the development of an effective MSP. Essential components of the MSP process are the sharing of information, community outreach and education of marine resources, capacity building, and communication among stakeholders from private and public sectors to bring about successful ecosystem-based management.


[1] Ehler C, Douvere F. Visions for a sea change. Report of the first international workshop on marine spatial planning. Intergovernmental oceanographic commission and man and the biosphere programme. IOC manual and guides no. 48, IOCAM Dossier no. 4. Paris: UNESCO; 2007.

To read more on this week’s Featured Article, check out our CRA Publication Database.

CRA’s Comment

Identifying stakeholders is a major component of UPRSG’s Caribbean-wide assessment of research priorities and needs of marine resource managers, users, and scientists. As recommended by Pomeroy and Douvere (2008), engaging stakeholders in marine resource management planning is crucial for its effective and practical implementation. The interview process is a useful tool and one of the most important methods of acquiring information on the human impact/factors and intricacy of marine ecosystems. Group discussions are also encouraged by the authors, which help to assemble stakeholders with particular interests in the use of marine resources. UPRSG applied this method by hosting a discussion (scoping) session at the Gulf and Caribbean Fisheries Institute 61st Annual Meeting at Le Gosier, Guadeloupe on November 13, 2008. Approximately 80 scientists, experts, and resource managers mainly involved in fisheries management from the Caribbean and adjacent countries participated in the session. General questions were presented that focused on short- and long-term research needed for fisheries management, information that can be used by resource managers to become better decision-makers, and obstacles that are presently hindering research/assessments that can help improve fisheries management. In this particular group discussion, mostly resource managers and scientists provided information concerning these issues on a regional level, specifically to the Gulf of Mexico and Caribbean. However, other important stakeholders, such as local fishermen, were not well represented in this meeting. This particular detail of misrepresentation must be addressed when seeking an extensive assessment that incorporates all parties involved in marine resource use and management.

Contributed by J. Seda

UNESCO’s Guide on MSP

http://www.unesco-ioc-marinesp.be/msp_guide

Featured Article in Marejada.org, Sea Grant-PR’s Environmental Magazine (Spanish): Xplorah – A tool for future planning in the present

Posted in: This Week's Comment

Leave a Comment (0) →

Establishing ACLs – Caribbean Fisheries Management Council

On June 23-24, 2009, the Caribbean Fisheries Management Council (CFMC) met to discuss annual catch limits (ACLs) and accountability measures (AMs) for stocks determined to be subject to overfishing.

The council meeting was attended by regular members and additional stakeholders from non-governmental organizations (NGOs), territory institutions for natural resource management, federal agencies, and commercial fishermen.

Commercial fishers having the greatest at stake were the most vocal and critical of the methods used to establish limits for ACLs. One of the main arguments questioning the validity of catch limits was the manner in which they are reported. Instead of reporting by species, catches are more often reported as groups of fish type. An example is the naming of Groupers and Snappers instead of Red Hind or Nassau Groupers. The true state of the fishery is difficult to determine when data on species is missing. This particular issue created some heated discussion at the meeting.

The Puerto Rico-Sea Grant Caribbean Regional Assessment (CRA) project used this meeting to scope fishers and managers from the US Virgin Islands. However, because of the discussions, it was difficult to obtain enough time to interview the attendees.  Their main focus was on the CFMC topics. On the other hand, they promised to respond to our questionnaire by email and for future consultations.

Kurt Grove – Sea Grant Puerto Rico, Research Coordinator

Posted in: Activities

Leave a Comment (1) →

Gulf and Caribbean Fisheries Institute Scoping Session 2008

UPRSG hosted a scoping session at the Gulf and Caribbean Fisheries Institute (GCFI) 61st Annual Meeting at Le Gosier, Guadeloupe, French West Indies on November 13, 2008.

The main objectives of the discussion session were:

  1. Assess research needs of resource users, managers, and scientists for the improvement and conservation of fisheries management on a short- and long-term scale.
  2. Identify obstacles that may be hindering or delaying the development of research and strategies for fisheries management in the Caribbean.
  3. Identify stakeholders and experts in fisheries management located in the Caribbean.

We asked four general questions concerning research and management issues pertaining to fisheries:

  1. What type of research is presently required (short-term) in the region for fisheries management?
  2. What critical information is needed during the next 5-10 years (long-term research) in order to deal with fisheries management?
  3. What type of information can resource managers use in order to become better decision-makers?
  4. What obstacles are presently hindering research/assessments that can help improve fisheries management?
session_1

Dr. Kurt Grove, Sea Grant Research Coordinator, led the scoping session.

Responses to our questions:

  • More assessments on recreational fisheries in terms of economical impact
  • Studies on the effect of bans, closures, and MPAs on species protection
  • Establishing regional baselines for managers
  • Projects that evaluate the social, economic, and cultural impact of fisheries management in local communities
  • Determine the age distribution of species targeted by commercial and recreational fisheries
  • Preparing for natural disasters, such as hurricanes, pathogenic diseases of reefs, changes in seawater temperature, and red tides, which are related to climate change
  • Studies on the dynamics of population structure of existing fish stocks
  • Disseminate useful information through dialogues among managers, scientists, and fishers demonstrating the importance of fishery independent data for the purpose of achieving sustainable resource stocks

Please read our full report for more details on GCFI’s response.

session_2

Approximately 60 participants attended the session.

Do you share these views? If you are involved in fisheries research and/or management, we’d like to hear from you! Please leave any comments regarding our four questions (or any other issue relating to fisheries management or research) in this section of our blog.

Detailed report of GCFI’s response to our questions

waterfall

GCFI members take a swim in one of the beautiful waterfalls at Guadeloupe, French West Indies

 

Posted in: Sessions

Leave a Comment (3) →

Caribbean Coral Reef Institute Symposium 2008

We attended the Caribbean Coral Reef Institute (CCRI) End of the International Year of the Reef Symposium at the University of Puerto Rico – Botanical Garden, Río Piedras on Dec 3, 2008.

The official naming of 2008 as the “International Year of the Coral Reef (IYOR)” designated by the International Coral Reef Initiative (ICRI) has led a conscious effort in understanding the status of coral reefs. In accordance with ICRI, CCRI, a NOAA-funded organization dedicated to addressing priorities in short- and long-term management of coral reef ecosystems in the Caribbean through research-based studies, conducted a symposium with the latest data pertaining to the present condition of coral reefs and the threats that they are currently facing. Local scientists and resource managers discussed a range of topics including the impacts of terrestrial activities on coral reefs, the need for important fish species for a healthy reef community, the use of acoustics in the detection of Red Hind spawning aggregation sites, among others.

Sadly, the current status of corals is not one to celebrate. The occurrence of coral diseases has been increasing for the past 10 years and is believed to be correlated with the increasing seawater temperature, which was reported as rising 1.8°C during winter season in southwest Puerto Rico since 1998. The restoration of corals has also been significantly hampered following the massive bleaching event of 2005. A consensus among reports of several marine areas under Puerto Rico jurisdiction indicated an approximate 50% decrease in live coral cover (specifically nine coral reef communities located in La Parguera) while others reported a striking collapse in coral species populations. These also included reductions in commercially-important fish that were previously seen roaming coral reefs and are now rarely found in these waters. Although these reports may seem disconcerting, several efforts by federal and local agencies are being made to develop and implement better management and assessment procedures that can help reduce the negative impacts on coral reefs. Unfortunately, this present generation will not be able to see whether these attempts will have a substantial effect on coral reef ecosystems because of the extensive lifetimes of corals. However, future generations may experience the outcome of our efforts to conserve the corals of today.

On a more positive note, CCRI has begun studies on the role of deep reef ecosystems (40-100 m) and their possible link to the present-day shallow reefs. Preliminary descriptions of deep reef fish communities off the southwest of Puerto Rico were presented, indicating an abundance of piscivores at these depths. Observations of the benthic community structure of mesophotic coral reefs (45 and 60 m) seem to indicate a higher percentage of live coral cover in particular areas. Discoveries of coral species and invertebrates unreported in the Atlantic Ocean are also being studied for taxonomic classification with considerable possibilities for new species.

For more information about CCRI, please visit their website

http://ccri.uprm.edu

Posted in: Activities

Leave a Comment (0) →
Page 6 of 6 «...23456