April 3, 2010
Team Investigates Coral Disease Outbreak In Kaneohe Bay, O’ahu
An outbreak of a disease called Montipora White Syndrome (MWS) was found in Kaneohe Bay, OÃ»ahu within the last month prompting an interagency response team composed of scientists and students to document the extent, spread and potential causes of the disease. Members of the investigative team included scientists from the University of Hawaii at MÃÂnoa's Hawaii Institute of Marine Biology (HIMB), USGS National Wildlife Health Center and Bishop Museum.
Corals are the very foundation of our coral reef ecosystem and are under threat from overfishing, land-based pollution and emerging coral diseases. Coral diseases have devastated the reefs of the Florida Keys, and MWS affects a prominent coral species (red rice coral or Montipora capitata) on Hawaii reefs and rapidly kills colonies in weeks. The disease was originally discovered by Bob Tangaro, a boat driver at HIMB, who notified coral disease researcher Dr. Greta Aeby of his grisly discovery. Mr. Tangaro is a member of the Eyes of the Reef Reporting Network, a program that trains community members to identify threats to Hawaii's reef including coral disease.
Image Caption: Well defined areas of excess skeletal growth. Tissue overlying growth anomaly is usually paler with calices reduced to absent. Credit: Marine Disease Research Lab
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