MIyako Island coral reef dies due to high water temperatures

MIyako Island coral reef dies due to high water temperatures

Dead dark coral reef spreads over Yaebishi off the Coast of Miyako Island, and an infectious disease that makes coral look whitish (center). (Provided by the Ministry of the Environment)


Marich 3, 2017 Ryukyu Shimpo

Coral bleaching has been spreading near Miyako Island, and 30 percent of the coral reef has died, according to an announcement by the Ministry of the Environment on February 28.
 
The average coral mortality rate has increased to 68 percent in the coral reef community located north of Ikema-jima Island.
 
This is the first time the mortality rate has exceeded 60 percent since the ministry began conducting full-scale surveys in the area in 2004. It was zero percent in previous year. (“It is a major blow to the dominant precious coral reef in the country,” said the person in charge of the Biodiversity Center, Nature Conservation Bureau, Ministry of the Environment, pointing out the reason for coral death being long continuing high water temperatures last year.

The ministry confirmed the reef also had “white syndrome,” an infectious disease that makes coral look whitish.

(English translation by T&CT)

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