Sunday, April 02, 2006

Caribbean coral reef deaths hit a record

A one-two punch of bleaching from record hot water followed by disease has killed ancient and delicate coral in the biggest loss of reefs scientists have ever seen in Caribbean waters...

Edwin Hernández Delgado, a University of Puerto Rico biology researcher... found a colony of 800-year-old star coral -- more than 13 feet high -- that had just died in the waters off Puerto Rico. "We did lose entire colonies," he said. "This is something we have never seen before."

"The prognosis is not good," said biochemistry professor M. James Crabbe of the University of Luton, England. This month he will investigate coral reef mortality off Jamaica. "If you want to see a coral reef, go now, because they just won't survive in their current state."
Caribbean coral reef deaths hit a record by Seth Borenstein (AP)

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