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UNITING COMMUNITIES TO SAVE CORAL REEFS

e-current

November 2013: Sunshine State Blenny Takes Contest / A Win for the Reef, the Community, and Tourists / CORAL Field Peeps / MPA Network Coming Together in Indonesia / Invisible Lions / Give Thanks for Reefs


The seaweed blenny (Parablennius marmoreus) can take on a variety of color patterns; photo by Rob McCall
Sunshine State Blenny Takes Contest

Key West, Florida dive instructor Rob McCall provides the winning image in our November E-Current photo contest. Rob's striking close-up of a seaweed blenny (Parablennius marmoreus), taken over the summer, gives us a detailed portrait of a fascinating fish that can be found in reefs throughout the Caribbean and down the northeast coast of South America.

Want to learn more about blennies? Because E-Current readers voted for them in our recent poll, we'll be highlighting these small, elusive fishes as our featured creature in the next issue of CORAL Current. Download Rob's Photo as a Desktop Wallpaper Enter Our Next Contest


Manoa Rasigatale, second from left, joins government and community leaders to announce a new partnership with South Sea Subs; photo by CORAL staff
A Win for the Reef, the Community, and Tourists

When not busy working as CORAL's Fiji Shark Representative, Ratu Manoa Rasigatale finds more ways to help sharks and reefs. Recently, he sat down with villagers in Namotomoto and Navoci to facilitate an arrangement between the community and a new marine tourism company, South Sea Subs. In the agreement, the custodians of the village iqoliqoli, or traditional fishing grounds, exchanged their ownership of an area off the coast of Port Denarua on Viti Levu, the large southern island, for a newly declared tabu, a no-take area.

To protect the tabu, 25 community members were trained and certified as fish wardens. They are charged with making sure Tabua Reef's no-fishing policy is enforced, allowing fish populations to thrive. Read More


From left, Kubulau Resource Management Committee Chairman Paulo Kolikata, Arthur Sokimi, and Tui Kubulau; photo by CORAL staff
CORAL Field Peeps

Arthur Sokimi, CORAL’s Fiji field representative, has never been very far from water. He grew up in Lami, a seaside community on the outskirts of Suva, swimming in warm coastal waters and paddling in canoes. In fact, he was a crewmember on the first crossing of one of the famous Pacific voyaging canoes—a 22-day trip from Fiji to New Zealand. Seawater must run in his blood: his father was a fishing captain; his grandfather a marine engineer. Arthur’s passion for the ocean naturally extended to the reef, since understanding that healthy reefs are critical to local livelihoods has always been part of his culture. “People would say, ‘If the reef is no good, there are no fish,’” he recalls. Read More


CORAL is helping develop a network of marine protected areas off the coast of Bali, Indonesia; photo by CORAL staff
MPA Network Coming Together in Indonesia

For the past three years, CORAL’s Indonesian field team has been gathering community input—from fishermen, business operators, and government officials—on plans for a network of marine protected areas (MPAs) off the coast of Bali. This fall, together with other conservation organizations and local government officials, CORAL hosted a series of workshops in the Karangasem Regency of Bali, with the goal of gathering and integrating stakeholder feedback into marine spatial planning, an essential step in developing the MPA network. Read More


New research helps explain how the red lionfish (Pterois volitans) has become such a dominant predator in the Caribbean; photo by Albert Kok
Invisible Lions

The red lionfish (Pterois volitans) was introduced into the Caribbean in the 1980s, where it has wreaked havoc. A new study by researchers at James Cook University helps to illustrate how and why it is such a successful and stealthy predator: some fish don’t see—or smell—it coming. The scientists found that while green chromis (Chromis viridis) responded defensively to other predatory fish, they failed to react to the red lionfish.

CORAL has worked for years on lionfish eradication efforts throughout the Caribbean, hosting fishing tournaments and trying to build a market for them within the seafood industry. Last year, at the International Coral Reef Symposium in Australia, our Field Programs Director Jason Vasques gave a presentation about larger efforts to control lionfish within the Mesoamerican Reef. Read More


Coral reef species like the tiger grouper (Mycteroperca tigris) are an important source of nutrition and income for hundreds of millions of people worldwide; photo by Mary Lou Frost
Give Thanks for Reefs

In just a couple of weeks, the United States will observe Thanksgiving, a holiday to celebrate the end of a successful harvest season. In many parts of the world, healthy coral reefs, not turkeys or fields of corn and pumpkins, provide the bountiful food on which the community depends. Help us ensure that reefs continue to thrive and sustain the hundreds of millions of people who rely on them by making a gift today in thanks for these magnificent—and nourishing—ecosystems. Make Your Donation Today!




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