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NCCOS Leads Key Topics at International Coral Reef Symposium

This week, staff from the National Centers for Coastal Ocean Science (NCCOS) led special sessions and gave individual presentations at the 13th International Coral Reef Symposium in Honolulu, Hawaii. The symposium is one of the largest international gatherings that bring together researchers, managers, policy makers, non-governmental organizations, and the general public to share and discuss recent […]

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Environmental Variables Influence Toxic Ciguatera Algae Growth and Distribution

A new study describes optimal growth conditions for several species and strains of the benthic marine dinoflagellate Gambierdiscus and highlights how these species and strains respond differently to varying levels of salinity, light, and temperature. These environmental factors, along with suitable seafloor habitat, predict the geographic distribution of Gambierdiscus. Gambierdiscus is a genus of tropical and subtropical […]

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Can Mesophotic Coral Ecosystems Serve as Lifeboats for Shallow Reefs?

On May 24, 2016, the United Nations Environment Programme released a new report on mesophotic coral ecosystems (MCEs) during a coral reef media roundtable at the second session of the United Nations Environmental Assembly (UNEA-2) in Nairobi, Kenya. The document, Mesophotic Coral Ecosystems: A lifeboat for coral reefs?, edited by GRID-Arendal and NOAA, represents contributions […]

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NOAA Improves Monitoring of Ciguatera in Fish

NCCOS and their partners have developed a new method for detecting ciguatoxins in fish that does not rely on the typical use of radioisotopes, which are highly regulated and often unavailable in remote tropical regions where ciguatera incidence is high. More than 50,000 people suffer from ciguatera fish poisoning each year by consuming fish tainted with […]

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Investigating Tissue Contaminant Levels in Shellfish from Vieques, Puerto Rico

New research from NOAA found tissue concentrations of toxic contaminants in queen conch (Strombus gigas), including metals, energetic compounds (associated with munitions), and the pesticide DDT from Vieques, Puerto Rico. The measured contaminant levels were similar to elsewhere in the Caribbean despite decades of military activities on the island. A team of scientists from the National Centers for Coastal Ocean […]

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Retired NCCOS Employee Honored with New Species Name

On February 18, 2016 at the U.S. Coral Reef Task Force’s 35th meeting, the Caribbean Coral Reef Institute at the University of Puerto Rico at Mayagüez recognized Dr. Michael Dowgiallo, retired Regional Ecosystem Research Branch Chief for NCCOS’s Center for Sponsored Coastal Ocean Research, by naming a new harpacticoid copepod species in his honor. The new […]

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Coastal Development Impacts Puerto Rico’s Mesophotic Coral Ecosystems

NCCOS-supported research recently published in Coral Reefs suggests coastal development negatively impacts mesophotic coral ecosystems, which were previously considered less likely to be affected by anthropogenic activities due to their greater depths. The project assessed the vulnerability of light-dependent mesophotic coral ecosystems (MCEs) off the south coast of Puerto Rico to anthropogenic impacts. Results showed that MCEs located […]

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Ciguatera Fish Poisoning Predicted to Increase with Rising Ocean Temperatures

A new NOAA study, published in the journal Ecological Modeling, anticipates an increase in the incidence of ciguatera fish poisoning (CFP) in the Gulf of Mexico and the U.S. Southeast Atlantic coast with predicted rising global ocean temperatures due to climate change. Stable or slightly lower risks of CFP are forecasted for the Caribbean Sea. Researchers from […]

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