Coral community in Oura Bay damaged

Coral community in Oura Bay damaged

A diver points to a broken strip of coral from a community of Porites cylindrica at 9:20 on January 12, at Oura Bay, Nago. (Photograph provided by the Diving Team Rainbow.)

January 13, 2015 Ryukyu Shimpo

A Porites cylindrica coral community in Oura Bay, Nago has been damaged. Members of the Diving Team Rainbow, part of the Helicopter Base Objection Association confirmed this on January 12. The location of the damage is near where a large vessel employed by the Okinawa Defense Bureau anchored to monitor movement of citizens opposing the construction work for replacement of the Futenma Base. A member of the team discovered this on January 10, and another two members confirmed it on January 12.

Members of the diving team alleged, “There is a community of coral reefs beneath the sea where the large vessel anchored. Various size corals have been broken at point-by-point basis. The state and extent of damage to the coral suggests human-caused damage.” The members speculate the ship’s anchor has hurt the coral.

According to the diving team, the coral might have been damaged in two places by the dragging of the anchor. The coral reefs have been broken within an area of about 10 meters in length and 50 centimeters in width, and have been crumbled on a line of about five meters in length in another place. Furthermore, at four or five different locations, the coral reefs have been hurt.

The community of Porites cylindrica stretches off the coast of the Oura district, in a strip shape that is about 100 meters long and 30 meters in width.

The location where the corals have been damaged is outside the temporary restricted area for the relocation work set up by the government.

(English translation by T&CT)

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