Why are Coral Reefs important?Coral reef-associatedFisheriesprovide annual economic benefitsestimated $1.3 million
Important source of protein in the Caribbeanparrot fishparrot fishSpanishhogfishgruntsnappergrouper
Why are Coral Reefs important?ShorelineProtection Services of CoralReefsavoided erosion and storm damage fromwaves valued $33 million peryear
BuccooReefTobago’slargestfringing reefon the way tobecoming asmall barrierreef
Why are Coral Reefs important?Tourism and recreationFisheriesShoreline ProtectionUS$ 130US$ 1.3US$ 33US$ 164 MilThese are significant compared to Tobago’s GDP, whichwas US$286 million in 2006.Coral reefs provide other important values not capturedin study (beaches, cultural, pharmaceuticals).
Understanding thethreats to coral reefsTemperature 21 to 29ºCSalinity >20pptWater Clarity/Light mostly above 30m asthey require sunlightFirm Base for attachmentWater Movement for food and oxygenOptimum conditions for survival
Found worldwide in tropical waters…..….warm, clear shallow water.
Sunlight(90%)Filter feeding(10%)The Polyp Gets Energy from:
Filter feeding nematocystzooplanktonAt night, polyps feed ontiny floating animals (zoo-plankton).They paralyse prey withstinging cells callednematocyst.Tentacles pass food to themouth which then getsdigested in the stomach.Waste is expelled throughmouth.
Energy from sunlightInner cellszooxanthellaesunlightCoral polyps retreat intotheir coralite cups duringday.Single-celled plants in skin(zooxanthellae), producefood (sugars) fromsunlight (photosynthesis).
Coral Bleaching!!!Inner cellszooxanthellaesunlight•Stress: Temperature rise•Polyp expelszooxanthellae•colony appears brilliantwhite•4 – 6 week of bleaching,corals would starve todeath.
SEPTEMBER 2005Bleaching of Fire Corals and Brain Coralsfirst observed!
OCTOBER 2005Bleaching spread to most coral species
OCTOBER 2005Buccoo Reef Trust and Coral CayConservation Team up to survey main reefsfor severity and extent of bleaching…
Method25 Sites were surveyed using PointIntercept TransectReport available at www.buccooreeftrust.org
ResultsOverall 66%of hard coralbleached!!At some sites over 85%bleachedReport available at www.buccooreeftrust.org
NOVEMBER 2005 -SEPTEMBER 2006Buccoo Reef Trust continue tomonitor reefs for recovery/mortality
Method8 stations were established from previoussurvey sites
At each station, 20 discrete colonies weretagged, photographed repeatedly, andanalyzed over the period the 10 month period