Tag Archives: coral

AUSTRALIA ~ TO CREATE MARINE HAVEN ~ PART1

The following four minute animated video, “Coral Reefs: Polyps in Peril” is presented by WRI Insights ~ insights.wri.org ~ Submitted by Lauretta Burke on July 9, 2012
We strongly recommend you visit WRI’s site to read the full article,”Everything You Ever Wanted To Know About Coral Reefs“, . 

Ocean advocate Céline Cousteau and cartoonist Jim Toomey (creator of Sherman’s Lagoon) teamed up with the World Resources Institute to bring you “Coral Reefs: Polyps in Peril”. This short animated film tells the story of coral reefs with humor and admiration for these wondrous ecosystems.  Learn about the unique biology of coral reefs and their importance to people around the world, as well as the serious threats that they face due to overfishing, pollution, and climate change.  But don’t let that get you down!  The film also explores what individuals can do to help save coral reefs, including supporting sustainable seafood and tourism providers, reducing your CO2 footprint, and promoting coral reef conservation. Published to YouTube on Jul 9, 2012 by

As a prelude to this topic you might like to preview two of my previous blogs on the Great Barrier Reef:
1) “Great Barrier Reef Video” ~ posted March 6, 2012 ~ watch the National Geographic totally awesome and mesmerizing video, “Exploring Oceans: Great Barrier Reef”.

2) “Coral Reefs Are in Crisis” ~ posted May 15, 2012.

In my next blog, “Australia ~ To Create Marine Haven”, I will be including four videos and very interesting data about the species that inhabit the waters of Australia’s ocean and  the Great Barrier Reef: Marine Fish;  Hard Corals; Sponges and Echinoderms; Marine Reptiles; Marine Mammals and Mollusks.

I hope you all realize how vital the work being done by the World Resources Institute Insights is and will find a way to support their efforts ~ insights.wri.org. 

See you back here for Part 2

NUDIBRANCHS UPDATE ~ INCREDIBLE FACTS AND VIDEOS

Since I first posted “NUDIBRANCHS – SAY WHAT?”,  May 14, 2012), I’ve found the time to delve further into these fascinating and exotic ocean creatures.  You will be thrilled and amazed with the facts shared on these YouTube videos and the awesome video footage from around the world (Indonesia, Philippines, Bali)

First a few very interesting facts:

Nudibranch ~ means “naked gills”
Nudibranchs ~ are sea slugs
~ are beautifully colored tiny vessels of danger
~ store toxins/stinging cells they steal from their prey
~ more than 3,000 species
~ range in length from 1/4 inch to over 1 foot
~ are hermaphrodites (meaning they have both male and female sex organs)
~ are found in oceans from Antarctica to the tropics

I won’t overload you with information, for as they say, “a picture is worth a thousand words”.

“Nudibranchs”, by Jean-Michel Cousteau, Ocean Adventures ~uploaded by on Dec 5, 2008 ~ “They might be tiny, but nudibranchs can pack a poisonous punch. Learn more about these extraordinary creatures”.

 

This next video is amazing ~ the music, “The Tahiti Trot” is very artistically adapted to the bizarre antics of the nudibranchs  ~ an award winner in my opinion!!!

Colorful nudibranchs in Lembeh Indonesia” ~ uploaded by  Delveroudis on Jul 5, 2010 ~ “… But they are the most colorful creatures on Earth and their body patterns exceed the imagination of the best designers on the planet.”

“Nudebranches of Amed – Bali Reef Divers – Dive Bali” ~ uploaded by on Nov 9, 2010 ~ courtesy of Hero Productions ~ “These nudibranches were seen around Amed and Tulamben this season… wide variety of nudibranchs species around here… Night dives at Jemeluk are also a great opportunity to see these creatures!”

http://www.balireefdivers.com

CORAL REEFS ARE IN CRISIS!!!

“Losing Our Coral Reefs

Excerpts from the article published in The Earth Institute, Columbia University, State of the Planet‘s blog, by Renee Cho, June 13, 2011

Before reading this you might like to watch the video included with my blog, “Great Barrier Reef” published March 6, 2012.

I urge you to read Renee Cho’s full article by clicking the link at the end of this blog.  Thank you.

Coral reefs, the “rainforests of the sea,” are some of the most biodiversity and productive ecosystems on earth. They occupy only .2% of the ocean, yet are home to a quarter of all marine species: crustaceans, reptiles, seaweeds, bacteria, fungi, and over 4000 species of fish make their home in coral reefs. With an annual global economic value of $375 billion, coral reefs provide food and resources for over 500 million people in 94 countries and territories. But tragically, coral reefs are in crisis.

Coral reefs are endangered by natural phenomena such as hurricanes, El Nino, predators and diseases; local threats including overfishing, destructive fishing techniques, coastal development, pollution, and careless tourism; and the global effects of climate change… 90% of coral reefs will be in danger by 2030, and all of them by 2050.

Coral reefs are colonies of individual animals called polyps, which are related to sea anemones. The polyps, which have tentacles to feed on plankton at night, play host to zooxanthellae, symbiotic algae that live within their tissues and give the coral its color. The coral provides CO2 and waste products that the algae need for photosynthesis. In turn, the algae nourish the coral with oxygen and the organic products of photosynthesis. The coral uses these compounds to synthesize calcium carbonate (limestone) with which it constructs its skeleton—the coral reef…

Of local threats to coral reefs, overfishing and damaging fishing techniques such as deep water trawling and the use of explosives and cyanide, are the most destructive… The global effects of climate change are also having critical impacts on coral reefs, and “the evidence is overwhelming that the ability of corals and the reefs they build to keep pace with the current rate of climate change has been exceeded” according to a recent study… When El Nino occurred in 1997-1998, widespread and severe coral reef bleaching occurred in the Indo-Pacific region and the Caribbean, killing 16% of the world’s coral reefs in 12 months… bleaching leaves corals vulnerable to disease, stunts their growth, and affects their reproduction, while severe bleaching kills them…

Today, coral reefs are experiencing warmer ocean temperatures and more acidity than they have at any time in the last 400,000 years. Acidification reduces the water’s carrying capacity for calcium carbonate that corals need to build their skeletons…It’s estimated that by 2050, only 15% of coral reefs will have enough calcium carbonate for adequate growth… Coral reefs provide us with food, construction materials (limestone) and new medicines—more than half of new cancer drug research is focused on marine organisms. They offer shoreline protection and maintain water quality. And they are a draw for tourists, sometimes providing up to 80% of a country’s total income. Losing the coral reefs would have profound social and economic impacts on many countries, especially small island nations like Haiti, Fiji, Indonesia, and the Philippines that depend on coral reefs for their livelihoods.

What can be done to save these precious and beautiful ecosystems?

The Coral Restoration Foundation protects and restores coral reefs through creating coral nurseries and transplanting corals into degraded reef areas. Concerned individuals can adopt a coral through the Coral Restoration Foundation or a coral reef through the Nature Conservancy, which uses the funds to conduct research, promote marine conservation and support the creation of MPAs. MPAs, which are being created worldwide, protect biodiversity and help communities manage resources sustainably.

The Great Barrier Reef is the largest and richest coral reef in the world because it has been protected since the early 1970s. The creation of an MPA off St. Lucia in the Caribbean has resulted in a tripling of the fish population…. by Renee Cho

http://blogs.ei.columbia.edu/2011/06/13/losing-our-coral-reefs/

GREAT BARRIER REEF VIDEO

GREAT BARRIER REEF

Your friends from Rainsoft Ottawa bring you a water related National Geographic video – perhaps this can be the beginning of our “Armchair Travel” series – hope you enjoy (I certainly did – so much so that I watched it twice!)

The largest living structure, the Great Barrier Reef spans more than 1,200 miles (2,000 kilometers) of islands and submerged reefs. A plethora of coral thrives here, along with a sweep of parrot fish, surgeonfish, barracuda, and sharks.

Established as a national park in 1975, the Great Barrier Reef was designated as a World Heritage Site six years later. Today 33 per cent of it is fully protected, and efforts are underway to deal with pollution, over-fishing, and the consequences of climate change.

The Great Barrier Reef appears to be about 20,000 years old, but geologists using deep coring techniques have found evidence of ancient corals there that are half a million years old.  With care, the future of Australia’s living treasure will be at least as enduring as its magnificent past.

 

 

 
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GREAT BARRIER VIDEO, “Oceans: Great Barrier Reef”   

Great Barrier Reef Transcript: …  From space, the east coast of Australia appears to be in the embrace of a giant opal. The largest living structure on earth, the Great Barrier Reef is a lacy, living wall spanning more than two thousand kilometers of islands and submerged reefs, between the Queensland coast and the western edge of the Pacific Ocean.  Diving in, the opal seems to splinter into millions of pieces, whirlpools of small metallic-blue fish, barracuda gliding like silver submarines, and occasionally, a lone, predatory shark. The Great Barrier Reef is like an underwater city whose buildings are alive, with millions of small creatures whose lives are intimately and intricately connected. It is as diverse as a rainforest, a mosaic of more than 70 types of habitats hosting thousands of species of marine life. As many as 100 different kinds of coral may occupy a single acre of ocean. Molecule by molecule, coral animals gradually extract calcium carbonate from the surrounding water to form minute stony cups around each animal’s soft crown of tentacles. Some coral live in solitary splendor, but most are built with hundreds, sometimes thousands of individual animals, linked together to form a single coral mound, plate or cluster of branches. Some are like little pink trees and shrubs. They provide food and shelter for thousands of other forms of life. Corals get the credit for most of the reef structure, but much of the construction is done by fast-growing encrusting red algae. They act like pink glue, cementing fragments of shell, sand and coral with sheets of calcium carbonate. The reef is home to more than 4000 kinds of mollusks, from tiny sea slugs – nudibranchs — to giant clams. Green sea turtles travel thousands of miles in the open sea to reach the sandy beaches of some of the Barrier Reef’s islands, and there, to lay their eggs. Hatchings head straight for the sea. They will travel thousands of miles over the years, and eventually, return to lay their own eggs…

video credit: National Geographic

 - VIDEO: UN concern over Barrier Reef threat (bbc.co.uk)

 - Fears for health of Great Barrier Reef (1oneday.wordpress.com)