Strengthening Coral Reef Resilience to Climate Change Impacts
There was a good meeting Thursday night (Sponsored by Hol Chan). Most the dive operators showed up (free beer and food). My daughter attended the meeting and came away very impressed with their projects
I was privileged to go out on the research trip the next morning. We spent several hours snorkeling. There was an abundance of sea life but no lobsters. There was also what I called the conch graveyard. At one point for as far as you could see the bottom was covered by layers of empty conch shells - no sand visible. We were told that only ONE fisherman goes their to clean his conch and has for years. He must be hundreds of year's old!
Brief overview of problem: We are eating too much lobster! Yes, I am very guilty. The lobsters feed on a certain very small snail which feeds on the algae that live in the Elkhorn and Staghorn corals. With the reduction in the lobster population the snails are overwhelming the corals which results in the coral loosing their color = coral bleaching.
One solution: This group is building wire cages and transplanting (via cable ties) pieces of live coral. They go out once a month and measure the growth. It works - it really works.
Here off of Ambergris Caye they have selected a spot where no one takes the tourists - thank heavens! I would love to see more and more of this sort of thing. Overall I am very impressed by the multi-pronged approaches and various organizations working to saving our reef.
I'll post some pictures.