TV: Hawaii coral “the worst scientists have ever seen” — Professor: “It’s like a ghost town… We would not typically see entire colonies bleached, ever” — Gov’t map of ‘maximum bleaching alert area’ in Pacific mirrors Fukushima plume model since 2011 (VIDEO)

Published: January 19th, 2015 at 11:28 am ET
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KITV, Nov 25, 2014:

  • One of Hawaii’s prized snorkeling spots… is facing a potential coral die-off. The coral bleaching at the Kapoho tide pools… is the worst scientists have ever seen… Take a dive into the beautiful tide pools… and you’ll notice a dramatic change.
  • Dr. Misaki Takabayashi, University of Hawaii at Hilo marine science professor: “You’ll see kind of like a ghost town.”
  • A ghost town because these large clusters of white that indicate the worst coral bleaching the tide pools… have seen in recent years.
  • Takabayashi: “We’re talking about right now the entire coral colony being bleached and 80 percent of the colonies that exists in Waiopae tide pool being bleached for the rice coral.”
  • Dr. Takabayashi… says all 10 species of coral that call the tide pools home are undergoing some type of stress.  Some like the blue rice coral more than others. Although she says it is normal for coral to undergo a cycle of bleaching, she says this is severe.
  • Takabayashi: “We would not typically see entire colonies bleached — ever — and only 10 percent of the coral colonies that exists in that habitat would be slightly bleached.”
  • [She] says she noticed the spread in late September and blames warmer than normal ocean water as the major stressor…

NOAA Coral Reef Watch, Maximum Bleaching Alert Area2011, 2012, 2013, and 2014

Watch the KITV broadcast here

Published: January 19th, 2015 at 11:28 am ET
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151 comments

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