Researchers cite new disease causing coral death in Kaneohe Bay

Photo: DLNR

A new type of microscopic lesion is now being associated with the unusual die-off of corals in central Kaneohe Bay that first reported back in February.

According to the Dept. of Land and Natural Resources, the cause of the colony-wide protein losing cytopathology (CPLC) is not known.

“So I guess we’re excited we’re at least able to put a name on it,” said Anne Rosinski, DLNR Marine Resource Specialist, “and we know kind of on a cellular level how it’s affecting the corals. Basically, the lesion will come in and it causes proteins to leak, and it makes the corals more susceptible to different kind of infections.”

When signs of dying coral in the bay were first reported earlier this year, researchers initially thought the disease may have been acute Montipora White Syndrome, a disease with a previously described suite of microscopic lesions.

“Since we don’t know the cause of this disease, we want to learn more, so we can determine what management actions might be taken to better respond to these events in the future,” said Alton Miyasaka, action administrator for the DLNR Division of Aquatic Resources.

If you see any kind of coral abnormalities, report it to the Eyes of the Reef Hawaii website.


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