Oh no, too much coral!

DIVING NEWS

Oh no, too much coral!

Acropora Solitaryensis
Acropora solitaryensis (Picture: Pul Muir)

Ocean warming is usually associated with the destruction of coral reefs, but in Japan climate change seems to be giving coral a major boost.

Environmentalists might celebrate but not everybody is happy about the situation, as expanding coral colonies replace the seaweed beds that once provided a habitat for commercially valued marine life such as abalone, anchovies and bass.

Scuba divers have reported that tropical Acropora hard corals, mainly A solitaryensis, are increasing rapidly as seaweed beds disappear, and the fishing community is bemoaning its fate.

The effect, spotlighted in the sea south of Tokyo Bay in a report in Kyodo News, is firmly attributed to climate change in the north-west Pacific.

The seaweed beds have been disappearing over the past 12 years, as sea temperatures have remained above 15 degrees C even in winter, and reached record levels last year. At times they now exceed 28 degrees C.

26 August 2020

Exacerbating the weakened seaweed’s overheating problem is increased damage caused by the rabbitfish, parrotfish and sea urchins that feed on it. With warmer waters, these species are now remaining active through autumn and winter.

As the seaweed beds die off, larvae carried by warmer currents grow into the young table corals previously found only to the south-west. Acropora solitaryensis, first noted in Japan in 1979, is reckoned to have expanded more than 200 miles north since that time.

biggest

LET’S KEEP IN TOUCH!

Get a weekly roundup of all Divernet news and articles 🤿

We don’t spam! Read our privacy policy for more info.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Related Divernet Posts

Diver Magazine Relaunch

Diver magazine needs YOU!

Are you still lamenting the demise of Diver magazine? Well now you can help resurrect an icon as we seek to bring back the magazine

Turtles of Raja Ampat

Turtles of Raja Ampat

The Raja Ampat Creature Feature Series: Turtles Raja Ampat is the perfect diving location to find four of the seven ocean turtle species of the

manta ray and diver over reef in Komodo

Divers pitch into Komodo manta probe

Manta rays choose to stick around Indonesia’s Komodo National Park in unusually large numbers – and, according to a new diver-led study, this community could

female diver holding pair of Fourth Element Tech fins

Tech fins inspired by humpback whales

Whales provided the inspiration for optimising efficiency in Fourth Element’s latest fins, according to the Cornwall-based manufacturer. The “turbulence disruptors” on top of the blades

Last Breath portrait of Woody Harrelson

Woody dives into Last Breath remake

A new version of the British documentary-thriller that captured the imaginations of divers in 2019 is about to be previewed at the Cannes Film Festival.

Follow Divernet on Social Media