Extreme measures to save corals at GBR

by TNP Editor 2021-4-30

SCIROUsing “cloud brightening” technology, controlling the spread of a predator starfish, and introducing heat-tolerant corals, scientists at CSIRO, Australia’s national science agency, hope to slow the demise of corals at Australia’s Great Barrier Reef (GBR).

The cloud brightening technology is experimental; it is based on spraying salt crystals into the air above the GBR, making clouds more reflective of sunlight and thus cooling waters around the reef.

image0Scientists hope to tightly control the population of the predatory crown-of-thorn starfish, which feed on corals.

Likewise, by introducing different corals, scientists hope to maintain coral coverage with more hardy and heat-tolerant species.

The simulation work done by CSIRO suggests a reprieve of up to 20 years based on these combined interventions. A key assumption of the model is that global temperatures will not rise beyond 1.8 degrees Celsius by the year 2100, and the emission of greenhouse gases and other climate factors will need to be addressed.

14th International Coral Reef Symposium at Bremen – registration now open

by TNP Editor 2021-4-27

The 14th International Coral Reef Symposium (ICRS) 2021 will be held at Bremen, Germany this summer on July 19-23.

14thICRS

This symposium is a great opportunity for marine biologists, policy experts, scholars and students to present their research findings, policy and scientific papers, as well as student posters. This is a premier event for the global scientific community to promote reef conservation and advance their research and professional development.

This will be the first VIRTUAL event in the 50+ year history of the ICRS. All presentations will be archived so that attendees can view them afterwards. Thus, attendees will not miss any oral or poster presentations at the 14th ICRS 2021 VIRTUAL when compared to prior ICRS and other large international conferences where many concurrent sessions were running at the same time.

Registration is now open. Click here to register.

Contine reading

Bleaching of the Great Barrier Reef

by TNP Editor 2019-5-10

One of the seven world’s natural wonders, The Great Barrier Reef is the only living thing on Earth that is visible from space, stretching from north to south over 2,300 km off the coast of Queensland. Located in the Coral Sea, in an area of 340,000 sq km, the Great Barrier Reef is comprised of 900 tropical islands and over 2,900 individual reef systems and coral cays.

The reef structure is built by billions of tiny organisms called coral polyps that form a symbiotic relation with coral algae. Together, a diverse ecosystem was formed over the millennia that includes dolphins, turtles, sharks and, of course, coral reef fish and crustaceans. These species interact with each other to comprise a delicate ecosystem that depends on the coral reef for thriving and surviving.

In 2017, BBC News reported two-thirds of the Great Barrier Reef were damaged in an unprecedented bleaching, or a loss of  algae. This bleaching – which turned the resultant coral reef ‘white and lifeless’ – started at the north section in the years prior and now it’s hitting the middle section. Thus far, it had damaged a 1,500 km stretch of the reef, according to aerial surveys.

Chemical runoff, over-fishing, climate change, habitat destruction, and coastal development all have contributed to the causes of bleaching and subsequent reef damages. Scientists and policy makers are making efforts to raise the awareness and remedy the situation.

We will report more on their work and progress in the years to come.

Alan Yeung to present at ECRS 2017

by Alan Yeung 2017-12-11

I will be presenting as Executive Director of Nature Pacific Foundation at the upcoming European Coral Reef Symposium (ECRS2017) at Oxford, England on December 15, 2017.

Under Session 7 – Can volunteers bridge the knowledge gap in reef conservation and research? Lessons from the field, this talk is entitled “21st century education: supporting reef conservation and research through experiential and service learning in Borneo, Palau and China.”

Contine reading

Congrats and thanks to Director Palumbi

by TNP Editor 2017-09-28

Congratulations to Prof. Stephen Palumbi at Stanford University.

According to report, Steve has passed on the directorship of Stanford Hopkins Marine Station to Prof. Mark Denny, as of September 1, 2017.

Steve has led Stanford’s Hopkins Marine Station with great success.

Many thanks to Steve for his  vision, leadership, passion … and wonderful moments and fond memories.

Ecotourism in Palau

by Austin Yeung 2017-08-3

I’m back! and this time, I brought three friends of mine with me on a research expedition to Palau. William Huang, Nigel Yang, and Sebastian Charmot, along with myself from Shanghai American School (SAS) came to conduct independent research on eco-tourism in Palau. We visited U.S. Ambassador Amy Hyatt and USDA Officer Paul Lake at the U.S. Embassy in Koror. It was our first time in a U.S. Embassy on American soil in a foreign country!

With the help of Ambassador Hyatt and Mr. Lake, we met with a number of Palau government officials and interviewed them on environmental policies set in place – by the Palauan government – to conserve and preserve.  We explore, through inquiry-based learning and our own questionnaires, how  Palau can protect its conservation success, yet further its eco-tourism industry.

It has been a great experience for all of us. And I am glad I had the privilege and honor in leading this expedition.

 

Chasing Coral: A Documentary

by Austin Yeung 2017-07-15

Chasing Coral – A Documentary Film. This amazing new documentary on coral captures the beauty of the ocean and outlines the causes of worldwide bleaching.

Its emotional journey takes place in Hawaii and Australia, where reefs are hit by rising sea temperatures. Highly recommended.

Fish hunt yields monster lionfish in Key Largo

by TNP editor 2017-02-19

According to Miami Herald, a lionfish measured over 450 mm was caught during a weekend fishing derby off Key Largo, part of the Florida Keys. While the one-day weekend event for 48 Scuba divers, held annually since 2012, seemed to be a success, the single-day catches of 420 lionfish highlight the seriousness of such a problem – an invasive species that feeds on 50 important species of native fish has firmly established itself in the western Atlantic waters.

So how did lionfish, tropical natives of the Pacific, find their way to Florida and the Atlantic coast?  It was suggested that lionfish were inadvertently released from an aquarium during the hurricane Andrew in 1992. As lionfish are highly reproductive (an adult female can spawn 30,000 eggs every few days), they are now widespread in the Virgin Islands, Bahamas, Bermuda, and along the coastlines of Georgia, South Carolina, and North Carolina. And they don’t seem to be slowing down anytime soon.

Unfortunately, the window of eradicating this invasive species may have passed. Catching lionfish through divers may be the only viable method to control their population. We humans are doing what we do best – trying to eat our way out of a problem caused by the unwelcome invaders.

Lionfish fillets are now offered at Florida Whole Foods Market stores at $8.99 per pound. bon appétit.