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#379429 - 06/08/10 02:39 PM Effects of Oil Pollution on Coral Reef Communities  
Joined: Oct 1999
Posts: 57,763
Marty Offline
Marty  Offline
Vol. 3: 167-180, 1980 1 MARINE ECOLOGY - PROGRESS SERIES Published August 31 Mar. Ecol. hog. Ser. l
Effects of Oil Pollution on Coral Reef Communities
Y.Loya and B.Rinkevich Department of Zoology, The George S. Wise Centre for Life Sciences, Tel-Aviv University. Tel-Aviv. Israel

Long-term and quantitative studies have now established that oil pollution may cause significant damage to reef corals. Birkeland et al. (1976),for example, found oil-depressed growth rates of corals, and Rinkevich and Loya (1977)reported damage to the reproductive system of corals and an almost complete lack of recolonization of hermatypic corals in reef areas chronically polluted by oil (Loya, 1975; 1976a).The first field evidence that some reef building corals may be seri- ously damaged if coated with oil when exposed to air at low tide, was provided by Johannes et al. (1975). Twenty-two coral species from Enewetak Atoll were partially exposed to Santa Maria crude oil for 1.5 h. The corals were also exposed to full sunlight for l h and then placed back on the reef. Complete tissue breakdown occurred in areas to which oil adhered, in patches of a few mm diameter. No signs of regeneration were observed at the affected areas during 4 weeks of periodical observations, while portions to which oil did not adhere appeared to be healthy.

This is a very long paper and can be found at

#379583 - 06/09/10 09:12 PM Re: Effects of Oil Pollution on Coral Reef Communities [Re: Marty]  
Joined: Sep 2009
Posts: 82
Rigrat Offline
Rigrat  Offline
The most telling part of this study was that not a single reef has been affected by oil drilling was in it. All of the oil spills were from oil transport, and from ships spilling their fuel. Crude oil barely got a mention. They used some Iranian crude under lab conditions to dip some coral in.
Those who take the time to read the whole report will find a very telling portion that says even though large disasters, such as the sinking of the Torrey Canyon may hit the headlines, it is the day to day spills from other sources that put immeasurably more oil in coastal waters, and that oil that they spill does much more damage.
Again, this study totally reinforces my belief that if we want to protect the reefs we should be focusing at causes that actually do cause real and everyday damage, and not at activities that have already happened with no damage, and the risk of doing damage in the future is infinitesimally small.

#380319 - 06/14/10 05:13 PM Re: Effects of Oil Pollution on Coral Reef Communi [Re: Rigrat]  
Joined: Jan 2010
Posts: 603
Mike Campbell Offline
Mike Campbell  Offline
While the report I quoted did not mention crude much. The experiment I quoted specifically was preformed using crude. I would hope we dont have to ruin a reef to prove the experiment was valid. There is no question the reef is under attack and that cannot be used to support off shore drilling. Each of the causes need to be addressed and many of our conservation groups try to do just that, usually having to fight the GOB every step of the way, including this fight.

#380360 - 06/15/10 05:18 AM Re: Effects of Oil Pollution on Coral Reef Communi [Re: Mike Campbell]  
Joined: Sep 2009
Posts: 82
Rigrat Offline
Rigrat  Offline
Which is great as there are absolutely no plans by anybody to drill on the reef.

#380375 - 06/15/10 08:50 AM Re: Effects of Oil Pollution on Coral Reef Communi [Re: Rigrat]  
Joined: Jan 2010
Posts: 603
Mike Campbell Offline
Mike Campbell  Offline
Unfortunately there is little info released by the govt except latitudes and longitudes of large areas. I dont want to get into semantics as we tend to speak simply here. When we say the reef often we are revering to all the coral formations and adjoining ares including the atolls. Thats what we call the reef, we tend to see it as a whole. I have heard repeated reports of both glovers reef and north ambergris caye. We call all that the reef.
We have already had our world heritage site status put on the endangered list due to the GOB not controlling development. We have now been given another letter of caution stating that we could not have both the world heritage status and off shore drilling in the area, again we use area in a more general term than perhaps do you.
Everything to the east of the reef comes onto the reef and then to the shore. Although there is current going north bound our prevailing north east wind controls the surface. I know this to be fact as I pick up trash from the beach daily and attempt to identify the source as I am afraid there are places still dumping direct into the sea and they should be held responsible for their economic impact on others. Anyway much of the trash comes from Jamaica which is east, far away.

I am trying to locate a map of the PSA's and over lay them on the Habitat maps, Marine Reserve maps and World Heritage maps. I really dont know the details and they are critical in this issue.

Unfortunately the GOB granted a PSA to a Guatemala company. Now resolution of the whole issue may hinge around sovereignty issues rather than risk/reward. As you know Guatemala has a territorial claim against Belize and we dont think they should be allowed to benefit from our national heritage, its crazy to even consider, that may not be your international view (which I dont know) buts it is most definitely the Belize view.
Also please understand I think there is zero chance of the gulf blowout being repeated off shore Belize but do believe there are a variety of things that COULD happen. Think of it as if it were your family, would you accept ANY risk to their life and or health for any amount of profit. I am sure you would never risk your family for any amount of money. To me the way I believe about the relationships of all the parts of the earth is that they are my family. If I hurt them I hurt myself. All things have their place, when we start moving things around we risk upsetting balances we dont really understand all that well and almost always do.
Most definitely tourism has a huge negative impact on the environment worldwide that needs to be addressed on a national and individual level. I would like to see Belize world famous for its environmental enlightenment and conservation of our heritage. We can become a show case for environmental consciousness and follow through with meaningful plans that are effectively implemented and enforced. I think there are huge income down that road that goes all over the country and zero risk. The tourism industry must be made more environmentally sensitive and be protected and prioritized.
And possibly people need to think of themselves as being part of the earth rather than just living on it. Glad you are feeling better. smile

#392251 - 11/08/10 05:37 PM Re: Effects of Oil Pollution on Coral Reef Communities [Re: Marty]  
Joined: Jan 2010
Posts: 603
Mike Campbell Offline
Mike Campbell  Offline
Report from the blog "The Scientist" indicating likely effects of the spill on deepwater corals.

BP effects worse than predicted?

Although many scientists expected this year’s BP oil spill to cause major damage to the Gulf of Mexico, preliminary surveys were cautiously optimistic, causing some to hope deepwater coral “had perhaps dodged an ecological bullet,” according to the New York Times.

No such luck, suggests a submersible robot cruising the seafloor 7 miles southwest of the well, which found widespread devastation. “I have seen many individual dead coral colonies over the years, but I’ve never seen a site full of dead and dying coral colonies,” Charles Fisher, chief scientist on the gulf expedition, told the newspaper. It’s not yet clear whether the oil killed the coral, but Fisher said the circumstantial evidence points to that conclusion. This is only the first nearby coral site he’s surveyed, and he plans to visit others in December.

#393294 - 11/20/10 06:21 PM Re: Effects of Oil Pollution on Coral Reef Communities [Re: Mike Campbell]  
Joined: Nov 2010
Posts: 1
davebane Offline
davebane  Offline
I like your post here its very informative i like the topic about the environment.Let helps our environment clean especially the coral reef communities luxury hotels

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