February 27, 2021

They extract corals from the Florida Keys to save them from an illness

Hundreds of corals of various species from the Florida Keys were extracted from the sea to be deposited in tanks and saved from exposure to a bacterial disease, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) reported Friday.

More than sixty environmental, academic and governmental organizations joined in a plan to collect healthy coral from the Marquesas Islands and the Dry Tortugas National Park, the southernmost areas of the Great Florida Reef, which have not yet been attacked by evil.

This disease, which is transmitted from one coral to another by the circulation of the marine current, destroys the coral tissue (the animal itself) and causes it to detach itself from the solid structure that is its skeleton and remains loose in the water. .

The species extracted from the sea in the Marquesas and Dry Tortugas are priorities to preserve genetic diversity and will serve as a reserve for future restoration efforts inside and outside the park.

"This outbreak is unique because of its wide geographic range, duration and number of affected species," the FWC said in a statement.

The Great Florida Reef, points out the FWC, is the only reef barrier system in the continental United States and hosts approximately 45 coral species that form reefs.

The disease is present in a stretch of about 430 kilometers (more than 266 miles) long on the east coast of Florida, which runs from Martin County to Bone Key, south of the state, according to scientific sources.

The corals extracted between June 30 and July 4 were deposited in tanks of the Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Sciences of the University of Miami and will be transported to the facilities of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums of the country.

The Rosenstiel School uses scientific techniques to cultivate threatened coral species in underwater nurseries through the coral conservation program Rescue a Reef.

To date, Rescue a Reef has planted more than 15,000 healthy corals in Miami-Dade County as part of that program.

Florida corals support one of the most biodiverse ecosystems on earth, provide habitat for fish and invertebrates and provide coastal protection against storms and have pharmaceutical benefits, according to the FWC.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) calculates in 8.5 billion dollars the assets that would affect the destruction of the coral reef in Southeast Florida.

(tagsToTranslate) Extract (t) Keys (t) Florida (t) save them (t) disease

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