Monthly Archives: January 2011

Fisheries management makes coral reefs grow faster

THE IMPACT: Reefs with large numbers of grazing sea urchins reduced the abundance of beneficial crustose coraline algae.
THE IMPACT: Reefs with large numbers of grazing sea urchins reduced the abundance of beneficial crustose coraline algae.

Overfished reef systems have more sea urchins — organisms that in turn eat coral algae that build tropical reef systems. By contrast, reef systems closed to fishing have fewer sea urchins — the result of predatory fish keeping urchins under control — and higher coral growth rates and more structure.

These were the findings of an 18-year study of Kenya’s coral reefs by the Wildlife Conservation Society and the University of California at Santa Cruz.

The destroyer

The paper appeared in the December 2010 issue of the scientific journal Ecology. The authors found that reefs with large numbers of grazing sea urchins reduced the abundance of crustose coralline algae, a species of algae that produce calcium carbonate.

Coralline algae contribute to reef growth, specifically the kind of massive flat reefs that fringe most of the tropical reef systems of the world.

The study focused on two areas — one a fishery closure near the coastal city of Mombasa and another site with fished reefs. The researchers found that sea urchins were the dominant grazer in the fished reefs, where the predators of sea urchins — triggerfish and wrasses — were largely absent.

The absence of predators caused the sea urchins to proliferate and coralline algae to become rare.

“These under-appreciated coralline algae are known to bind and stabilize reef skeletons and sand as well as enhance the recruitment of small corals by providing a place for their larvae to settle,” said Dr. Tim McClanahan, WCS Senior Conservationist and head of the society’s coral reef research and conservation program.

“This study illustrates the cascading effects of predator loss on a reef system and the importance of maintaining fish populations for coral health.” The study also focused on the effects of herbivorous fish — surgeonfish and parrotfish — on coral reefs.

While these ‘grazing’ fish did measurably impact the growth rates of coralline algae in reef systems, they also removed fleshy algae that compete with coralline algae.

Reefs with more sea urchins grew significantly slower than ones with more complete fish communities, according to a Wildlife Conservation Society press release.

Greater effect

The authors also found that the grazing effect was stronger and more persistent than the strong El Niño that devastated coral reefs throughout the tropics in 1998 (the study extended from 1987 until 2005).

The study shows that managing coral reef fisheries can affect coral reef growth and improving the management of tropical fisheries can help these reefs to grow and persist in a changing climate.

Planet Scuba India tops the Top 5 Adventure Clubs In Bangalore

There are many Adventure clubs in Bangalore which are into various outbound activities. These are the non-commercial organizations working for the promotion of the adventure sports be it terrestrial activity, mountaineering, water or aero sports.

Adventure clubs in Bangalore offer scuba diving, white water rafting and many more. Photograph: GoogleAdventure clubs offer scuba diving, white water rafting and much more. Photograph: Google

The latest trend in Bangalore – Adventure sports! Now you can experience the thrill and set your adrenalin levels rushing by indulging in adventure sports. This newly found recreation is fast catching up among Bangaloreans. The variety of adventure sports in Bangalore range from Scuba diving to the daring paragliding and white water rafting. Every sport takes some time to be learnt and there are some great adventure clubs in Bangalore that offer professional training. Here’s what some of Bangalore’s adventure clubs have to offer!

Planet Scuba India

Incorporated in Bangalore in January 2007, Planet Scuba India is India’s first Inland Scuba Diving Training Institute. Diving is a popular adventure sport the world over, but in India, this is the first attempt to popularize it in the metros. In order to minimize the time you spend “learning” how to dive while on your holiday, they decided to do all your training right here in Bangalore! So, the process to get your ‘license to dive’ involves a day in the classroom, a pool session to familiarize you on the use of the dive equipment and 4 dives in the open water over a span of 2 days.

Planet Scuba India was founded to help scuba enthusiasts to discover the underwater world in a safe and educational manner. It is the one stop shop for anything and everything related to diving.  It is India’s first and only 5 Star PADI Dive Center, Planet Scuba India encompasses good diving skills and knowledge, a deeper understanding of the importance of the underwater world to the ecosystem and networking with people who share similar interests. As part of its CSR, Planet Scuba is a part of Project AWARE, a marine life conservation initiative from PADI (Professional Association of Dive Instructors), which is a globally-recognized certifying body. People who complete the diving course from Planet Scuba get certified by PADI. One of the main goals of Planet Scuba is to spread awareness about the marine ecosystem through its scuba diving courses
Address: 3226, 11th Main, HAL 2nd Stage Indiranagar. Tel:. 080-41573939

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