New fish species discovery in Caribbean


Coryphopterus curasub, photo by Carole Baldwin and Ross Robertson/Smithsonian Institution

From Science, Space & Robots:

New Goby Fish Found in Southern Caribbean

Scientists from the Smithsonian Institution have discovered a previously unknown species of goby fish in the southern Caribbean. The small goby fish has different colors than its relatives. It is also located at greater depths and was found using the Curasub submersible.

The new species was found at a depth of 70 to 80 meters. The 33 mm (1.3 inch) long goby species has been named Coryphopterus curasub after the submersible used to discover it. The goby fish was found by Drs. Carole Baldwin and Ross Robertson.

The scientists say much less is known about ocean life at depths just below those accessible with conventional SCUBA gear. New discoveries like this goby fish are being made thanks to the availability of submersibles.

Dr. Baldwin says in a statement, “This is the fourth new deep-reef fish species described in two years from Curasub diving off Curacao. Many more new deep-reef fish species have already been discovered and await description, and even more await discovery.”

A research paper on the goby fish can be found here in the journal, ZooKeys.

July 22, 2015

Caribbean lionfish toxic


Lionfish

November 2011: Research on invasive lionfish in the Caribbean sea around St Maarten island has revealed many of these fish are toxic, so they should not be eaten: here.

Sint Eustatius island wildlife, new research


This video from the Caribbean is called Welcome to St Eustatius.

From Naturalis in the Netherlands today (translated):

In recent weeks, a team of researchers from Naturalis Biodiversity Center and Anemoon Foundation have mapped the biodiversity of St. Eustatius island. Both above water and underwater. During the research numerous rare species and even some new species were discovered. Sneak preview: one of the special species is a wonderful Fingerprint Cyphoma. That’s a sea snail.

The blog posts (in English) of the people doing the research are here.

One of the blog posts mentions the discovery of

several [fish species] that have not yet been reported in the Lesser Antilles, such as Chaenopsis resh (the resh pikeblenny).

This video is about, especially underwater, wildlife on and around Bonaire, Saba and Sint Eustatius islands.

Octopus camouflage on coral reef, video


This video says about itself:

Amazing moment marine creature camouflages itself against a reef is captured on video

4 February 2015

Octopus shocks diver with its amazing camouflage skills

A diver was shocked to see an octopus emerge from the rocks during a dive in the Caribbean. Its amazing camouflage abilities meant it was barely visible before revealing itself.

Spot the octopus!

A new study has found that La Niña-like conditions – cooler sea temperatures, greater precipitation and stronger upwelling – in the Pacific Ocean off the coast of Panamá were closely associated with an abrupt shutdown in coral reef growth that lasted 2,500 years: here.

Rare glimpse into how coral procreates could aid future conservation: here.

Cayman islands coral reef news


This video says about itself:

13 December 2012

Central Caribbean Marine Institute Research Divers on a scientific dive during a rainstorm; on this dive we were lucky enough to spot some juvenile squid under out boat when we returned to it. Divers are surveying Elkhorn Corals in Little Cayman, Cayman Islands, British West Indies. We are between 50′ and 60′. The dive site is called Bus Stop and we are underneath a live-aboard boat of the Aggressor Fleet in Jackson’s Bay inside the world famous Bloody Bay Marine Park. This is what we do everyday on Little Cayman.

Little Cayman is considered one of the best dive destinations in the world. We have the most pristine Coral Reef Ecosystems in the Caribbean and one of the best in the World. Researchers and scientists come from all over the world to Little Cayman to get a base reading to compare the health of their reefs back home to. This is what we do everyday on Little Cayman.

Please Visit our website at www.reefresearch.org to learn more about us.

From the Cayman Compass:

Scientists explore secret of Little Cayman’s coral reef success

By: James Whittaker

30 December, 2014

What is so special about Little Cayman’s reefs? That’s the question a new $140,000 scientific study at the Central Caribbean Marine Institute will seek to answer.

Scientists want to determine why reefs around the remote island are thriving and whether there are lessons that can be adapted to help protect and maintain vital coral reef systems around the world.

The new study will look specifically at rare and endangered coral species around Little Cayman and attempt to determine why they are bucking a trend of widespread decline in coral reefs across the Caribbean.

An earlier study by CCMI showed that coral cover had been increasing around Little Cayman over the past five years.

The new project will focus specifically on evolutionary distinct and globally endangered species known as edge corals.

Dr. Kristi Foster, CCMI’s assistant director of research, said the aim is to determine the specific conditions present in Little Cayman that allow such corals to be more resilient to the threats facing reefs around the region.

“While elsewhere in the Caribbean reefs are in a state of decline, we are actually seeing an increase in coral cover. There is something special about our system here in Little Cayman,” she said.

“We are going to try to look at where we have hot spots of these edge corals and try to determine the environmental conditions that might explain why they are thriving.”

The study is partly funded through a $70,000 grant awarded by the U.S. National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, with the money coming from Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines.

Researchers will conduct snorkel studies around Little Cayman’s reefs, and scientists will combine the results of those surveys with temperature and atmospheric data.

The researchers will also consider Little Cayman’s relative isolation and how its small population and relative protection from overfishing and coastal pollution have affected its corals.

“The idea is that this project will help us develop a ranking system to identify which areas need higher protection, for example through Marine Protected Areas.”

She said the research could be adapted to help put protection plans in place for vulnerable reef systems in other parts of the world.

She said scientists working on the study, titled “Enhancing Capacity for Coral Reef Resilience Management in the Cayman Islands,” have already located several previously unrecorded pillar coral colonies and more than 50 colonies of staghorn and elkhorn corals.

She added, “This grant from the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation enables us to compare the abundance and health of at-risk coral species to the habitats and environmental conditions where they thrive.

“As we learn more about the resilience of Cayman corals to bleaching, disease outbreaks, and other climate-related disturbances, we can improve ecosystem-based management and conservation.”

A deadly combination of changing ocean conditions are threatening the survival of coral reefs, new research from scientists at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) in the USA, shows: here.

Scientists reveal which coral reefs can survive global warming: here.

Giving dead reefs new life with fast-growing corals: here.

Caribbean Economies Face Peril as Coral Reefs Decline: here.

Save Antillean iguanas


This video is about the Petite-Terre islands near Guadeloupe in the Caribbean. The lesser Antillean iguana, Iguana delicatissima, a threatened lizard species, lives there.

This is another video about that iguana species.

Lesser Antillean iguanas live on St. Eustatius island as well. However, they are threatened there.

The SOS iguana website started today to help save them.