Friday, March 20, 2009

The Fate of Caribbean Coral

I start my day (when we have internet) with a letter to my daughter, check the Chicago Trib, check on my Cubs, and Scientific American. Today there is a disturbing news item about Caribbean fish and Coral. Some highlights from the article:

There has been 30 years of steady coral loss (80% of the coral is gone!) that is now showing up in the decline in the number of reef fish in the Caribbean. Fish numbers have declined at 5% a year for the last ten years.

Pollution and warming are the cause of the damage to the coral.

Stuff like this doesn't get fixed overnight if ever. It takes thousands of years to build up coral reefs. That they can be destroyed in 30 years is another shocking example of how delicate the balance is on mother Earth.

So, no, we can't repair the reefs that are already gone. All we can do is change our behavior to prevent more or total loss in the future.

In other news, I went for my daily afternoon swim/scrape the hull yesterday and discovered an 8 inch crack in the hull of the dinghy! We hauled it up on the davits to see if water would drain out. Today we'll haul it up on deck and see what repairs we can make. I have no idea how this happened. I guess that swimmer the other day had a harder head than I thought!