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Old 05-05-2008, 02:26 PM   #21
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Huh! And here I thought plants were finicky.

What does "frag my leathers" mean?
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Old 05-05-2008, 02:39 PM   #22
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It means to cut off pieces to sell, regrow, remove dead tissue, or to make it smaller.
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Old 05-06-2008, 06:06 AM   #23
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well firstly its important to understand corals themselves.
Are they animal, mineral, or plant?
This has been argued by scientists for years, but essentially they are all 3.
The coral is made up of a CaCO3 skeleton (mineral), within the skeleton live coral polyps (animal) and within the polyp live dinoflagellates, or zooxanthellae (plant).
The coral and dinoflagellates form a mutualistic relationship, meaning that both the coral and algae benefit from each other.
Corals can get anywhere up 98% of their nutrition from the dinoflagellates themselves. Dinoflagellates also promote and allow the corals to grow their mineral skeleton.
Now what can healthy corals be affected by:
Sedimentation (smothers corals and disallows photosynthesis of the dinoflagellates), Pollution, Salinity levels (high or low), Storms, being loved to death, high and low sea temps, crown of thorns sea star (big problem here on the GBR), algae blooms, destructive fishing methods and cyanide fishing.
What happens?
After 6-8 weeks of this continued stress (above) corals will begin to expell their dinoflagellates. Now when these dinoflagellates are released, it DOES NOT mean that they are DEAD! This is a common mistake made. When corals first bleach (lose dinoflagellates) they will only expel some, not all. If the stress discontinues the corals are able to rejuevenate. However, if these stresses continue for a long period of time then, yes, the coral will die.
As I mentioned before, dinoflagellates give the coral 98% of its energy and nutrition, without these dinoflagellates, corals die.
To put it simply, scientists are still trying to determine the exacts causes and triggers of coral bleaching. It seems that Global Warming is one of the factors, so a part from reducing your carbon footprint, we can't do much.
HOWEVER, any of you divers out there CAN help by doing coral research when diving... the coral watch charts are especially designed to be simple and extremely easy to use! hey if i can use it...anyone can!

Sorry about the essay...but its complicated and i'd rather u understand it as 'the key to conservation is education!'
Happy to answer any more questions!!! (Y)
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Old 05-06-2008, 06:08 AM   #24
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sry bout that guys - my computer's having a spaz!!
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Old 05-06-2008, 10:40 AM   #25
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Very informative and educational post cougha, thanks.

I've been PADI certified for 14 years now, and have always been extremely careful to watch my fins, regulator, depth guage, etc. so as not to contact fragile coral. Other than that I never figured there was much I could do to help keep coral healthy.

What are "coral watch charts", where can I get more information on them and why are they helpful? How are they used and by whom?
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Old 05-06-2008, 12:18 PM   #26
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No worries cougha, I moved your duplicate post.
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Old 05-06-2008, 01:10 PM   #27
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CoralWatch is an organisation built on a research project at the University of Queensland, Brisbane, Australia. We have developed a cheap, simple, non-invasive method for the monitoring of coral bleaching, and assessment of coral health. Our Coral Health Chart is basically a series of sample colours, with variation in brightness representing different stages of bleaching/recovery, based on controlled experiments.
In the field, users simply compare colours of corals with colours on the chart and record matching codes. The charts can be used by anyone - scientists, school children, tourists and politicians.

CoralWatch have also joined forces with Project AWARE Foundation, a nonprofit environmental organisation working with divers to conserve underwater environments through education, advocacy and action. Project AWARE have registered over 500 CoralWatch monitoring locations worldwide making it easy for divers and snorkelers to get involved. You can view a list of participating dive centres or find out more by visiting Project AWARE
You can request a free* DIY Coral Health Monitoring Kit by contacting us at info@coralwatch.org. The chart is currently available in English, Chinese, simplified Chinese, Japanese and French with more languages becoming available in 2008!
We now have a link to NOAAs’ Tropical Ocean Coral Bleaching Indices Page! Here, you can immediately see which Coral Reefs are currently under Bleaching Alert, for further details click here.

* First kit provided free of charge.
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