Wildcoast-USA News:19 May 2013 at 11:20pm
Latest headlines from WN Network
Sixteen students have enriched themselves with a wealth of knowledge about marine life, which they gathered between April 27 and May 11 during activities hosted by the Save Our Seas Foundation (SOSF) on D’Arros Island. Eight students per week flew to the island to take part in the Academy by the Sea Level 2: D’Arros Expedition. The Academy by the Sea is a marine education programme for secondary school students... Students find wealth of facts under D’Arros sea surface20 May 2013 at 12:08am
La Digue secondary students preparing for their IGCSE (International General Certificate of Secondary Education) geography exams have learned how to do beach profiling and calculate slope. La Digue students learning about beach profiling A coastal vulnerability team comprising Dr Danika Van Proosdij and Greg Baker from St Mary’s University in Canada gave Powerpoint presentations before explaining to the students why it is important to monitor beaches. Dr Danika Van Proosdij and Greg Baker are members of a group of researchers from the CARIBSAVE partnership who have been... La Digue students learn how to profile beaches20 May 2013 at 12:08am
Bay’s once-vibrant reefs suffer decline at an alarming rate By
CHRISTIE WILSON, The Honolulu Advertiser
The best place to see vibrant coral reefs in Maalaea may be at the Maui
Ocean Center. The popular aquarium displays an abundant range of marine
life that no longer exists in the adjacent bay, which has experienced a
total collapse of its underwater ecosystem in recent years, due largely
to human impacts.
Coral coverage in the bay was estimated at 50 to 75 percent in 1993 by
the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, similar to that found in the nearby
Molokini Shoal Marine Life Conservation District. In 2006, a survey
found only 8 percent coral coverage at Maalaea.
The alarming speed at which the marine landscape has deteriorated offers
an important lesson in coral reef conservation, according to Russell
Sparks, an education specialist with the state Division of Aquatic
"When these reefs degrade, when they go off the edge, it happens very
quickly," Sparks said. "When we see signs of it, we need to be willing
to make changes, sometimes major changes, and do it very quickly."
The causes of coral reef decline at Maalaea are complex, but severe
overgrowth of invasive algae is one indication the ecosystem's natural
balance is seriously out of whack, he said.
"We're not sure if it's the cause of the reef degradation or just the
symptom. When you have a healthy reef, there's no place for that algae
to grow," he said.
Shallow reefs in Maalaea and neighboring Kihei are almost totally
overgrown with Acanthophora spicifera (spiny seaweed), Ulva spp. (sea
lettuce) and reddish or brownish Hypnea musciformis (hookweed), which
can double its biomass in just two days. Growth rates of the limu in
South Maui are among
the highest anywhere in the world.
The economic impact of the Kihei seaweed invasion has been estimated at
$20 million annually from lost hotel revenue, reduced property values
and removal costs.
The ecological impact is incalculable.
"Algae is a natural part of the reef, but what happens when it's growing
out of control is that it smothers some of the corals and acts as an
irritant," Sparks said. "Healthy corals are not going to be affected by
algae, but when you have everything else stressing out the ecosystem, it
can become a big problem."
University of Hawaii studies have found a correlation between severe
algal growths and coastal areas with high human population densities.
There also is evidence that concentrations of nutrients such as nitrogen
and phosphorus are highly elevated in nearshore areas where algal blooms
are found. These nutrients, from fertilizers and wastewater, are
believed to accelerate seaweed growth.
Maalaea Bay is in close proximity to vast agricultural fields and golf
courses, which are sources of fertilizer runoff, and the area's
extensive coastal development is served by injection wells that
discharge treated sewage into the ocean.
"Maalaea is in a wetland coastal area where you have groundwater and
surface water funneling down there from the entire Central Maui
isthmus," Sparks said.
Unmonitored grading of a major commercial development in Maalaea in the
late 1990s resulted in tons of sediment being deposited into the bay,
further stressing the reefs, and piles of rotting seaweed encourage
bacteria hostile to corals.
As a result of these multiple impacts, Sparks said, Maalaea Bay has
changed from "a dynamic, actively growing coral reef ecosystem" into
eroding and relatively flat areas that don't provide structurally
complex habitat for the herbivorous fish that can keep algae growth in
check. Instead, the fish stocks are in poor condition, dominated by
small wrasses, triggerfish and puffers.
It may be too late for Maalaea's reefs to recover, but the state
Department of Land and Natural Resources took action this year to
prevent the same kind of swift decline off north Kaanapali, which also
suffers from algal blooms.
The newly created Kahekili Herbivore Fisheries Management Area bans
removal of rudderfish (nenue), parrotfish (uhu), surgeonfish and sea
urchins, all important limu-grazers.
Past news: WASHINGTON - President Bush created
the world's largest marine protected area — a group of remote Hawaiian
islands that cover 84 million acres and are home to 7,000 species of
birds, fish and marine mammals, at least a quarter of which are unique
At a White House
ceremony, the president designated the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands the
United States’ 75th national monument. The islands have been described
as “America’s Galapagos” and as the most intact tropical marine region
under U.S. jurisdiction.
“To put this area in
context, this national monument is more than 100 times larger than
Yosemite National Park,” Bush said. “It’s larger than 46 of our 50
states, and more than seven times larger than all our national marine
sanctuaries combined. This is a big deal.”
State land and natural resources officials on Maui are already
discovering problems with the new lay gill net rules and regulations,
The Maui News
They restrict lay gill net fishing around Maui and apply new rules to
fishermen on Molokai and Lanai.
Help Keep it Clean
"What we are finding to be problematic is that many within the public
currently believe the (lay net) gear is restricted, period," said Randy
Awo, Maui branch chief of enforcement for the state Department of Land
and Natural Resources.
But lay nets can still be possessed by fisherman who are doing surround
net fishing, Awo said.
It's the lay net practice that is prohibited, he added.
• New lay net rules in effect
Gov. Lingle has approved amendments to HAR Chap 13-75, restricting
the use of lay nets and prohibiting their use in certain waters. The new
rules are now in effect. Included are requirements for lay net
registration, limits on dimensions and soak times, requirements for
attendance and inspection, and prohibitions on use in streams and stream
mouths. Lay net use is also prohibited around the entire island of Maui,
and in certain waters off Oahu, including Kaneohe and Kailua Bays, and
the south shore between Koko Head and Pearl Harbor. More details can be
found by downloading the following pdf files:
HAR 13-75: Rules regulating the possession and use of certain fishing
gear (3 MB):
Lay net rule summary sheet (84 KB) :
Green sea turtles abound - view the vast sea life at Wailea, Maui, Hawaii - accommodations right on the sand and by the reefs. Polo Beach Club.
7/26/2006 3:30:00 PM [A Plus Resorts- Information]
Release from: Maui News
Little Hope For Reef Fish
The good news is that most everyone is
ready to admit that Maui's inshore fisheries
need regulations and protection. The bad
news is that nearly everyone involved thinks
it is "the other guy" who needs to be
Hawaii is the only state in the nation
that allows the use of lay nets, also known
as gill nets, on inshore reefs. In 1998, the
state Department of Land and Natural
Resources set up at Gill Net Task Force.
Some of the task force recommendations were
written into regulations which were given a
round of public hearings in 2002. During the
course of collecting public testimony for
lay net regulations, it became apparent that
the DLNR should consider a ban on the nets.
That required a new round of public meetings
which are now being conducted.
The DLNR's Division of Aquatic Resources
held one of those sessions last week in
Kahului. Nearly everyone agreed there were
fewer fish in the waters around Maui. Most
said they weren't to blame because they only
took what they needed. They didn't specify
if what they needed was for food for the
family or cash to pay for the boats, motors,
fuel and monofilament nets.
That same argument has stalled effective
marine life conservation despite decades of
anecdotal and scientific evidence the
islands' inshore reefs are being turned into
coral deserts. As usual, the latest meeting
heard plenty of testimony that the real
culprits ranged from windsurfers to
developers who allowed reef-smothering
The suggestion that a konohiki (manager)
be named for each ahupuaa (a
sea-to-mountain-top land division) to decide
how much and what kind of fishing the ocean
could handle at any given time was greeted
warmly and might be cause for the DLNR to
set off in yet a new direction, requiring
another two years or so of analysis, rule
writing and hearings. Besides, the old maps
show Maui alone had more than 60 ahupuaa.
The DLNR's administrative rules allow it
to establish temporary fishing bans on
individual reefs at any time, allowing fish
populations to be replenished naturally. It
worked off Waikiki's Kuhio Beach, but in
Maui waters it would require more
enforcement than the state has been willing
to fund in the past.
Meanwhile, the reef fish disappear, and
no one seems willing to do what needs to be
done to save them.
New law prohibits taking of female
lobsters and crabs
On May 4 Gov. Lingle signed into law Act
77, which prohibits the taking or killing of
female ula (spiny lobsters), Kona crabs, and
Samoan crabs. The law took effect the same
day. Closed season for spiny lobsters and
Kona crabs continues through the end of
August, but there is no closed season for
Samoan crabs. For information on how to tell
the difference between males and females of
these species, http://www.hawaii.gov/dlnr/dar/fish_regs/mvf.htm.
Map of marine managed areas in the
Map Game -
World Map Game Quiz is the development of innovative map game
centered on different versions and themes of the world map. It's a
novel method of popularizing geographical knowledge and cultures
from around the world.
The Division of Aquatic Resources (DAR)
has been working on improving management of lay nets for
some time. The following chronology illustrates some of the
key historical events.
1977 - Maximum soak time limited to
12 hours, previously no limit. Minimum mesh size is 2"
1992 - Report on lay net management
in response to HCR 401 HD1 recommends mesh size increase
and soak time reduction
1993 - Soak time limited to 4 hours
with required inspection at 2 hours
1994 - 2" minimum mesh size increased
to 2 3/4"; to take effect 12/31/96
1998-99 - Gill Net Task Force meets
and recommends lay net regulations
2000-02 - Draft regulations developed
from recommendations and reviewed internally
2002 - State wide public meetings on
proposed lay net management regulations
The Proposal For Discussion
STATEWIDE BAN ON LAY NET USE
There shall be a statewide ban on the use
of lay nets. This pertains to commercial, recreational and
subsistence lay net uses. This ban does not apply to throw
nets, cast nets, fence/bag nets, aquarium nets, lobster
nets, opelu or akule nets; nor does it apply to lobster
traps or fish traps.
FISHERY- AND RESOURCE-BASED LIMITED
GEOGRAPHIC AREA EXEMPTIONS
Exemptions to lay net prohibition for
certain limited geographic areas may be considered and must
be approved by the Board of Land and Natural Resources.
Exemptions will be based on the condition of the resources
in the area to be considered for exemption.
WHERE GEOGRAPHIC EXEMPTIONS ARE GRANTED:
(LAY NET USE, SIZE AND OTHER RESTRICTIONS THAT APPLY TO ALL
If certain limited geographic areas are
exempted from the statewide lay net ban, then the following
lay net use, size and other restrictions must be adhered to.
following restrictions apply to all individuals and user
Lay net use must be a part of active
fishing with continuous attendance and monitoring (i.e.
net is not to be set, abandoned and then fisher returns
Lay nets are to be attended and
monitored at all times (i.e. someone must always be
within 50 feet of the lay net and monitoring the net.)
In the event a threatened and/or
endangered species (i.e. turtle, dolphin, seal, etc.,)
and/or unintended bycatch (i.e. other fish, bird, etc.)
are caught in the lay net, the fisher shall immediately
remove the animal from the lay net. The fisherman shall
follow appropriate state and federal handling and
release guidelines if it is a threatened or endangered
Lay nets must be individually
registered by the owner and tagged. Identification tags
shall be attached at both ends of the net, one on the
floatline and one on the leadline, for a total of four
identification tags. Identification tags will be marked
with a unique serial number identifying each net.
Marker buoys, visible on the water
surface, shall be attached to each end of the net, for a
total of two buoys. The identification tag number will
be permanently marked on each buoy.
A person may fish with only one lay
net per day and may only use (set) the net once per day.
When the lay net is in use, set and
fishing, the registered owner must at all times be
present and fishing with that net.
Lay nets shall be no longer than 250
feet and no higher than 6 feet. No joining of individual
nets if two or more fishers work together.
Lay net mesh shall be no less than
2.75 inches, stretched.
Lay nets must be spaced no less than
500-feet from each other.
Lay net "soak time" shall be a
maximum of 4-hours.
The lay net may only be in the water,
set and fishing between the hours of one-half hour
before sunrise to one-half hour after sunset.
Lay nets that do not meet these
requirements are subject to confiscation by the
Department and the owner and user cited for violation of
the administrative rule.
The Department shall consider any lay
net on or about the water that is not registered and
does not have proper identification tags contraband and
subject to immediate seizure.
biggest developer, today laid the final stone on the breakwater for
The World, its 300 artificial island scheme.
The completion of the massive 27km breakwater, which will guard 320m
cubic metres of reclaimed sand, paves the way for the scheme to be
handed over to developers for construction and the building of its
Dubai World Africa established the brand, Dubai World Conservation
Africa, an eco friendly entity responsible for the investment in,
preservation and responsible development of game reserves, wildlife
conservation and eco tourism in Africa.
Dubai World is firmly committed to make every country and community
in which it operates a better place to live and work, knowing that the
ongoing vitality of our host nation and local communities has a direct
impact on the long term health of our business.
Dubai World Africa investments Dubai World Africa Services (Pty) Ltd
is a subsidiary of the holding company, Dubai World and shares a common
vision, mission and value system. Dubai World Africa is responsible for
the acquisition and development of assets in Africa and the Indian Ocean
Dubai World Africa has assets in South Africa - Victoria and Alfred
Waterfront as well as Pearl Valley Golf Estate. In Rwanda - Nyungwe
Forest, Akagera National Park, Gorilla's Nest Lodge ; in Djibouti -
Djibouti Palace Kempinski; in Mozambique - Bilene Beach Resort and Golf
Course, in the Comoros - Comoros Kempinski Beach Resort and Residences,
In Zanzibar - One and Only Zanzibar and One and Only Mazagan Resort in
Dubai Apartments - Dubai Apartments
and vacation rental
listings make it easy to find your Dubai
apartments and self catering Dubai
furnished apartments of your choice near
Dubai beaches. Perfect for exploration of
Dubai beach areas and relaxation.
Dubai Hotels rates include local
taxes and service charges with on line
instant booking confirmation
FILE - In this Dec. 2005 file
photo provided by the National
Park Service shows National Park
Service fisheries biologist Jeff
Miller examining the coral reef
in the Buck Island Reef National
Monument in St. Croix, Virgin
Islands, after bleaching from
record hot water followed by
disease has killed ancient and
coral.According to coral experts
like Roberto Iglesias the so-far
elusive goal of world climate
talks at the UN Climate Change
Conference in Cancun, Mexico,
limiting global warming to 2
degrees C (3.6 F), is too little
too late. Coral reefs, which are
like underwater jungles that
host 25 percent of marine
species, have been weakened by
water pollution and overfishing,
leaving them vulnerable to a
warming ocean that "bleaches"
and kills corals. (AP Photo/U.S.
Geological Survey, Caroline
FILE - In this Aug. 18, 2005 file photo,
bleached fire coral, center, contrasts
against healthy coral off the waters of
Summerland Key, Fla. Bleaching occurs
when the tiny colorful algae that live
inside coral is expelled. Tropical reefs
have been weakened by water pollution
and over fishing, leaving them
vulnerable to a warming ocean that
"bleaches" and kills corals. In 2010
coral bleaching reached its worst level
since 1998, when 16 percent of the
world's reefs were killed off. (AP
Photo/Wilfredo Lee, File)
PUERTO MORELOS, Mexico
(AP) — The once-vibrant coral reef shielding these sun-soaked
beaches from the wrath of the sea is withering away under the
stress of pollution and warmer water.
It's not likely to get much help from world governments meeting
in Cancun for talks on a new climate pact. Their so-far elusive
goal to limit global warming to 2 degrees C (3.6 F) is too
little too late, says coral expert Roberto Iglesias.
"That represents the end of the coral reefs in the world," says
the Mexican scientist, who works at a marine research station in
Puerto Morelos, 12 miles (about 20 kilometers) south of the
beach resort hosting the annual U.N. climate conference.
Coral reefs are like underwater jungles that host 25 percent of
marine species and provide food and income to hundreds of
millions of people, mostly in the developing world. They also
serve as shock absorbers to storm surges whipped up by
But many reefs, including the one off this hotel-packed
coastline, have been damaged by water pollution and overfishing,
leaving them vulnerable to a warming ocean that "bleaches"
corals and sometimes kills them, Iglesias said.
This year, preliminary reports show global coral bleaching
reached its worst level since 1998, when 16 percent of the
world's reefs were killed off, said Mark Eakin, a coral reef
specialist at the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric
"Clearly, we are on track for this to be the second worst
(bleaching) on record," he said. "All we're waiting on now is
the body count."
The 700-mile (1,100-kilometer) Mesoamerican reef that runs along
Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula — suffering under other stresses —
was spared the bleaching this year, but other parts of the
Caribbean were hit hard, including Tobago, Curacao, Panama and
islands north of Venezuela.
Some of the biggest impacts were in Southeast Asia. In
Indonesia's Aceh province, surveys showed some 80 percent of the
bleached corals died. In July, Malaysia closed several popular
dive sites after virtually all the corals in those areas were
damaged by bleaching.
Bleaching occurs when warmer temperatures disturb the symbiotic
relationship between the corals and tiny algae that live inside
them. When the algae are spit out, rainbow-colored reefs are
turned into pale and lifeless skeletons — a "hideous" sight for
veteran scuba divers like 52-year-old Eakin.
"You can't imagine what it's like to jump in the water and
expect beautiful vibrant colors and all the corals are white,"
One or 2 degrees C (1.8-3.6 degrees F) above normal can be
enough to cause bleaching. Corals may recover if the water cools
and the algae return, but they're still significantly weaker and
more vulnerable to disease. If the warmer temperatures persist,
the corals die.
Bleaching occurs due to natural variability; both the 1998 and
2010 events were linked to the El Nino weather phenomenon. But
the gradual rise of ocean temperatures means "it doesn't take
much to push them over the edge," Eakin said.
The World Meteorological Organization says most tropical waters
already have seen surface temperatures rise by up to 0.5 C (1 F)
in the past 50 years. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate
Change, the U.N. climate-science network, projects an increasing
frequency of bleaching episodes that "is very likely to further
reduce both coral cover and diversity on reefs over the next few
Many reefs have already been degraded by disease and the impact
of human activities, including discharges of fertilizers and
waste as well as overfishing of parrotfish and other species
that help keep the corals clean and healthy.
The global area covered by coral reefs has shrunk by 20 percent
since 1950 and another 35 percent could disappear in the next 40
years, even without the impact of climate change, according to a
report released in October by the World Meteorological
Organization and the Convention on Biological Diversity.
Off the Riviera Maya coast south of Cancun, where large swaths
of mangrove forests have been cut down to make room for an
endless row of beachfront resorts, only 15 percent of the coral
reefs are alive, down from about 45 percent in 1995, said
Fernando Secaira, who coordinates a Mesoamerican Reef program
for the U.S.-based environmental group Nature Conservancy.
The biggest problem, he said, is the rapid development, with
tens of thousands of hotel rooms added only in the past decade.
Fertilizers from lawns and golf courses and sewage from the
developments filters through the limestone rock and is washed
out onto the reef by underground rivers, altering the balance of
the sensitive ecosystem.
Secaira said such unhealthy reefs will find it difficult to
adjust to warming waters, raising the risk they will be
destroyed by bleaching or diseases. The priority for
conservationists is identifying the most resilient reefs, and
protecting them as climate change sets in with full force,
raising temperatures and acidifying the ocean, which limits the
carbonate minerals that help corals grow.
Scientists say no emissions cuts being considered by world
governments will suffice to prevent that from happening.
"We're going to lose more corals and more reefs before this is
all over," said Eakin, of NOAA. "The question at this point is
how many can we save."
Please note: We are not affiliated with
Wildcoast.net or any other organization. Our desire is to promote
news and information regarding preservation of the oceans and wildlife.
Specializing in preventing over-fishing, and preventing destructive
fishing techniques, and maintaining a clean habitat for sea-turtles and
other marine life.