Caribbean waters have suffered the biggest loss of reefs last year. A one-two punch of bleaching from record hot water has been followed by disease, which killed ancient and delicate coral — scientists have ever witnessed in the Caribbean waters!
To figure out the exact extent of the loss, researchers from around the globe are scrambling rigorously. From Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands find, early conservative estimates that about one-third of the coral in official monitoring sites has recently died!
National Park Service fisheries biologist Jeff Miller who last week checked 40 stations in the Virgin Islands said, “It’s an unprecedented die-off… The mortality that we’re seeing now is of the extremely slow-growing reef-building corals. These are corals that are the foundation of the reef … We’re talking colonies that were here when Columbus came by have died in the past three to four months.”
The fear of this devastation is that it is not reversible as some of the devastated coral can never be replaced because it only grows the width of one dime a year. “The 2005 event is bigger than all the previous 20 years combined,” Miller said.
Via: Yahoo News