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Coral Reef Monitoring Continues Field Season in the U.S. Virgin Islands

NCCOS scientists, along with other federal and local partners, are diving on reefs surrounding St. Thomas and St. John from July 13-23, collecting data as part of the NOAA Coral Reef Conservation Program’s National Coral Reef Monitoring Program (NCRMP). Earlier this summer, the team conducted similar dives off St. Croix. NCRMP provides a broader geographic context to supplement studies of […]

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Persistent Organic Pollutants Unlikely Cause of Dolphin Health Issues after Deepwater Horizon

NCCOS scientists reported that persistent organic pollutants (POPs) were likely not a contributing factor to the poor health conditions and increased mortality observed in some populations of bottlenose dolphins following the Deepwater Horizon (DWH) oil spill.  This study, recently published in the journal Science of the Total Environment, analyzed 169 remote biopsy samples that were […]

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Regional Water Management Practices Reduce Biscayne Bay Submerged Aquatic Vegetation

In subtropical Biscayne Bay, Florida, NCCOS research reveals decades of water management practices reduce freshwater flow, negatively impacting abundance and composition of the bay’s nearshore submerged aquatic vegetation (SAV) communities, fish, and crustaceans. Over the last 50 years, a massive water management system modified the hydrology of the South Florida watershed by altering the quantity, […]

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Reef Fish Movements Tracked in USVI Monument to Assess Boundary Effectiveness

NCCOS and National Park Service (NPS) researchers are evaluating the boundaries of the Virgin Islands Coral Reef National Monument in Coral Bay, St. John relative to the home range of reef fish that the monument was conceived, in part, to protect. The team has tracked reef fish movements using surgically implanted acoustic transmitters and an […]

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Entangled Bottlenose Dolphin Calf Rescued in Florida

An NCCOS researcher working with National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) and regional organizations rescued a bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus) calf with monofilament fishing line wound about the tip of its rostrum near Lakewood Park, FL. The entanglement was first reported in mid-January, but as the calf grew the line cut deeper into its rostrum.  NMFS, in consultation […]

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NOAA Partnership Improves Accessibility to NCCOS Echosounder Survey Data

Seafloor maps that include fishery echosounder data from the NCCOS-led coral reef ecosystem characterization surveys of the US Caribbean (2010-2014) are now available to the public through the National Geophysical Data Center Water Column Sonar Viewer.  The original objectives of the echosounder and sonar surveys were to map habitats of the seafloor and distribution of reef […]

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Mesophotic Habitats Are a Refuge for Large, Overfished Species in Southwest Puerto Rico

NCCOS-supported research found that commercially important fish, such as snappers and groupers, off southwest Puerto Rico are more abundant at mesophotic depths (60–80 meters) than shallow depths (30 meters or less). The study, published in the journal Coral Reefs, suggests that mesophotic coral ecosystems serve as a refuge for heavily exploited, shallow-water reef species and […]

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Pulley Ridge Corals Show Potential Signs of Recovery After 10-Year Decline

An NCCOS-funded study has produced a detailed characterization of the deep (60–80 meters), mesophotic reefs and fish populations of Pulley Ridge, located off the southwest coast of Florida. While the study shows a decade-long decrease in coral cover at Pulley Ridge, when compared with data collected by the U.S. Geological Survey in 2003, the findings […]

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