Reef and Fishery Assessment of Navassa Island National Wildlife Refuge
On April 23, 2009 scientists from the NOAA's Southeast Fisheries Science
This work is funded by the NOAA Coral Reef Conservation Program.
Tuesday, April 28, 2009
When I first visited Navassa in 2002, we encountered a few very small thickets of staghorn coral and scattered colonies on several of our dives to the deeper patch reefs. When we returned in 2004 we found coral disease actively spreading around the reefs of Navassa and only saw 1 colony in our many dives. In 2006 we found substantial coral bleaching and only found 2 small sprigs of this coral, one of which was diseased and dying! So this year we have once again issued an ALL POINTS BULLETIN for staghon coral sightings amongst the 12 divers in our group! So far one small colony has been seen by Jack Javech of the fish counting team. If the weather continues to be too rough to survey elkhorn coral along the wall I will join the hunt for this now rare and emperiled coral. Although it appeared to be doomed on our last visit, this is a relatively fast growing coral and I am hoping that we will find small colonies that have persisted through these tough times! --Dana