Assessing and Monitoring Coral Reef Health

Project Summary As part of the Blue Project and reversing the Decline of Bahamian Coral Reefs program, we have been assessing aspects of coral reef health throughout The Bahamas.  These assessments have been used to guide reef rehabilitation efforts, develop management plans for protected areas, and select sites for new protected areas. Repeated surveys at some [...]

By | March 15th, 2017||Comments Off on Assessing and Monitoring Coral Reef Health

Protecting parrotfish

Project Summary Parrotfish are among the most important herbivores on Caribbean coral reefs. This is particularly true in areas, like The Bahamas, where the long-spines sea urchin Diadema antillarum has not recovered from a regional die-off over 35 years ago. They consume seaweed and give corals a chance to grow and reefs a chance to [...]

By | March 15th, 2017||Comments Off on Protecting parrotfish

Bringing Diadema Back

Project Summary They may not be "sexy", but the long-spines sea urchin, Diadema antillarum, is one of the most important species on coral reefs.  As grazers, they keep seaweed growth in check and allow coral larvae to settle and grow. This increases reef resilience and allows reefs to recover after corals die off from natural or [...]

By | March 15th, 2017||Comments Off on Bringing Diadema Back

Bahamas Reef Restoration Network – BRRN

Project Summary Reversing the decline of coral reefs throughout The Bahamas is a group effort, requiring multiple restoration sites throughout the country. To this end, The Perry Institute has partnered with local conservation organizations, research labs, dive operators and other stakeholders to create the Bahamas Coral Reef Restoration Network.  The goal of this network is to empower [...]

By | March 15th, 2017||Comments Off on Bahamas Reef Restoration Network – BRRN

Controlling Coral Predators

Project Summary For some endangered coral species like staghorn and elkhorn coral, restoring populations with colonies grown in nurseries may be the best hope for their recovery. Several threats may still limit recovery of these species, however.  On many reefs in The Bahamas, elkhorn and staghorn coral populations may not recover due to a species of snail, [...]

By | March 15th, 2017||Comments Off on Controlling Coral Predators

Corals and Climate Change

Project Summary Corals live within a limited temperature range. As such, they are extremely vulnerable to changes in temperature. During the heat of late summer, sea temperatures that warm even a fraction of a degree above normal temperatures can cause corals to lose the symbiotic single cell algae that live within their tissues providing them with [...]

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Valuing Protection of Marine Ecosystems

Project Summary While we know that tropical marine ecosystems support fisheries, recreational opportunities, attract tourists and provide other ecosystem services, what are these ecosystem services worth? How does the health of an ecosystem affect the value of these services? Can the creation of a marine protected area change its value? How does the management of a protected area affect [...]

By | March 15th, 2017||Comments Off on Valuing Protection of Marine Ecosystems

Nassau Grouper Spawning Migrations

  Project Summary Nassau grouper form large spawning aggregations where thousands of fish come together to spawn annually. While adult Nassau grouper typically rarely move more than a few hundred meters to feed and find shelter, they migrate hundreds of kilometers to spawning sites. Through this project we will understand how adult migrations link home ranges and spawning sites throughout The Bahamas. For [...]

By | March 15th, 2017||Comments Off on Nassau Grouper Spawning Migrations

Nassau Grouper Population Genetics

Project Summary The Bahamas has some of the largest remaining populations of endangered Nassau grouper. However, these populations are in decline.  In partnership with the Bahamian PhD candidate Krista Sherman, we are unlocking the mysteries of Nassau grouper populations in The Bahamas using advanced genetic techniques.  This research is aimed at determining how Nassau grouper from different [...]

By | March 15th, 2017||Comments Off on Nassau Grouper Population Genetics

How did Hurricane Matthew impact Bahamian Coral Reefs?

The Perry Institute for Marine Science led surveys of several coral reefs receiving different levels of impact from Hurricane Matthew in several parts of The Bahamas.  Reefs surveyed after Matthew were reefs previously surveyed 12 months prior to the storm to assess before and after impacts. Sites surveyed experienced varying impacts from major hurricane force [...]

By | February 2nd, 2017||Comments Off on How did Hurricane Matthew impact Bahamian Coral Reefs?