Coral Reefs

The crown-of-thorns starfish can sometimes be hard to spot using traditional survey methods.

New test to detect crown-of-thorns starfish

Outbreaks of crown-of-thorns starfish (CoTS) are bad news for coral reefs, so it is essential that they are detected and dealt with as soon as possible.

But detecting an outbreak in its early stages is not easy. What’s more, they sometimes hide under coral plates, while the younger ones can be as small as just a few millimetres.

To counter this, the researchers at the Australian Institute of Marine Science (AIMS) developed a new test to detect the presence of the starfish on coral reefs.

Nutrients such as fertiliser run-off from agriculture is harmful to corals.

Nutrients are bad news for corals

Typically, coral reef environments are low in nutrients such as nitrogen and phosphorous compounds. However, such conditions are not set in stone as sometimes, passing ocean currents can bring in nutrients from elsewhere. In addition, man-made fertilisers and stormwater runoff from adjacent coastlines can also contribute to the nutrient levels.

And, high levels of nutrients are bad news for corals.

Staghorn coral
The staghorn coral (Acropora cervicornis) is a branching, stony coral with cylindrical branches ranging from a few centimetres to over two metres in length and height.

Coral restoration projects show promise in Florida Keys

Reef-building staghorn coral (Acropora cervicornis) was abundant and widespread throughout the Caribbean and Florida until the late 1970s.  The fast-growing coral formed dense thickets in forereef, backreef, and patch-reef environments to depths over 20 m. 

Coral Guardian's team member, Sahril, ensures the maintenance of a restored coral reef.

Adopt a coral during lockdown

Corals are essential to the balance of the planet, but today they are threatened with extinction.  Thanks to restoration efforts as well as the construction of unique artificial reefs, dedicated to the rehabilitation of coral reefs in damaged areas, we make possible the return of lost biodiversity in this environment.

The ridged cactus coral, relatively uncommon but striking in its beauty, had reproduced in a lab for what the aquarium says is the first time.

Scientific breakthrough could save Florida’s Reefs

The corals were rescued by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission and NOAA Fisheries after an outbreak of Stony Coral Tissue Loss disease commenced 2014. Previously, little was known about ridged cactus coral reproduction, as no photos, videos, or published studies were ever done on the species' reproductive biology.

Researchers find deep-sea coral gardens off Western Australia

Widely known as a biodiversity hotspot for marine animals, Australia’s Bremer Canyon Marine Park has been found to also host rich, diverse ecosystems within the canyon’s cold waters.

This discovery was made during a scientific expedition after researchers used a deep-sea remotely operated vehicle (ROV) to collect samples of deep-sea corals, associated fauna, seawater and geological samples from the abyssal depths to the continental shelf.

Acropora hyacinthus, thought to be a single species, is potentially five different species—some with a very limited geographical range.

New coral species discovered along the Great Barrier Reef

Scientists from Queensland Museum (QM), University of Technology Sydney (UTS) and the King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST) in Saudi Arabia completed a 21-day trip from the Capricorn Bunkers off Gladstone to Thursday Island in the Torres Strait late last year. Scientists discovered dozens of new coral species on a recent voyage along the length of the Great Barrier Reef.

“On almost every dive we were finding species that aren’t in the books"

Tourists in Bali have carved name into coral

Bali coral deliberately vandalised

Photographic evidence has been posted on Facebook showing that names have been carved into coral at Crystal Bay, Nusa Penida, and it has enraged social media users.

What’s wrong with some people? Seriously, do they need to scratch their name on this beautiful coral. Unbelievable!

It is thought that tourists are responsible. The Bali Sun stated that one post observed “how can you be so stupid?”

Andrew A Shantz places an enclosure over corals on the sea floor at Florida Keys.

Selective fishing of larger parrotfish lets algae flourish

Scientists at Pennsylvania State University and the University of California, Santa Barbara have discovered that when fishermen selectively catch large and medium-sized parrotfish at coral reefs facing decline due to climate change, algae has a better chance of growing and overtaking the corals.

Nonetheless, according to the research, the reef’s biomass is maintained. This is because even with less of the large and medium-sized parrotfish, there would be many smaller parrotfish that would take their place.