Categorized | Sci-Tech

Coral reef workshop coming to Kona Feb. 3-6

MEDIA RELEASE

Pan Pacific Coral Health and Disease Workshop Overview

In July 2008, at the 11th Annual International Coral Reef Symposium, coral disease researchers presented mounting evidence of the rising prevalence and severity of global coral diseases.  

While an unprecedented increase in coral disease has been well-documented in the Caribbean over the last decade, it is now clear that coral diseases are becoming a widespread occurrence throughout the Indo-Pacific.

In light of these scientific reports, the GEF/World Bank’s Coral Disease Working Group has partnered with The Kohala Center to invite a group of scientists and managers from around the world to address the growing need for a unified Pan-Pacific coral disease network.

This workshop will facilitate discussions on effective coral reef management plans to improve the resistance and resilience of reefs to disease, multidisciplinary approaches to identifying diseases, and connecting science with indigenous knowledge.

Attendees will also conduct coral disease surveys on West Hawaiian reefs to enhance standardization of field survey methods and syndrome identification.

The primary goals of this meeting will be to:

1. Assemble a group of Pan-pacific researchers to address coral disease in the Indo-Pacific and discuss how to collect comparable data across regions.
2. Develop an outbreak response plan for coral disease.
3. Discuss methods of integrating microbiology and ecology.
4. Discuss methods for estimating coral health.
5. Develop a connection between traditional Western science and indigenous knowledge, especially Native Hawaiian science and resource management practice.
6. Discuss the possibility of creating a Hawaii node for a Pan Pacific Program.

The Pan Pacific Coral Health and Disease Workshop is scheduled Feb. 3-6 at the Outrigger Keauhou Beach Resort, hosted by the Kohala Center, Bishop Holdings Corporation, and Kamehameha Investment Corporation.

This workshop will involve a wide range of scientists, managers, and Hawaii Island residents from the GEF/World Bank’s Coral Disease Working Group, Hawaii Institute of Marine Biology, GBRMPA, Australia’s Institute of Marine Science, NOAA, University of Hawaii, Hawaii Department of Land and Natural Resources, USGS, The Kohala Center, and several other Pacific universities.

Presentations on the current knowledge of Indo-Pacific syndromes will be given from 8:30-10:30 am Wednesday in Ballroom 1 at the Keauhou Beach Resort. The presenters are

Bette Willis, PhD, James Cook University, Townsville Australia
Greta Aeby, PhD, Hawaii Institute of Marine Biology Kaneohe, Hawaii
Bernardo Vargas-Angel, PhD, NOAA Coral Reef Ecosystem Division Honolulu,
Hawaii
William Walsh, PhD, Hawaii Division of Aquatic Resources, Honokohau, Hawaii

For additional information on coral reef targeted research, see www.gefcoral.org/” www.gefcoral.org/.

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