• Photo by Rantje Allen

  • Photo by William Tan

  • Photo by Rantje Allen

  • Photo by William Tan

  • Photo by Rantje Allen

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Monthly Archives: November 2011

That’s not coral bleaching

Healthy Acropora (RA)Although some areas of Sulawesi have experienced coral bleaching, Gorontalo has not. Those diving here sometimes see white on coral and think something is wrong. Coral bleaching is generally associated with water temperatures that are too hot for the symbiotic bacteria that provides both color and food supplements to hard corals. As a result of the hot water, bacteria dies, leaving the corals white in color and lacking sufficient food. If temperatures do not drop quickly enough for bacteria to return and provide needed nutrition, the corals will die. This phenomena hits many or all corals in a particular area, leaving the reef looking ghostly white.
Divers in Gorontalo marvel at the highly dense and diverse coral reefs here. But they also notice corals with white edges, particularly Acropora table corals. This is not bleaching, but an indication of healthy and rapid growth. Acropora corals always expand and grow along the edges. So in Gorontalo many edges are white since bacteria have not had time to develop inside this new growth.
Notice the white new growth in this photo of the edge of healthily Acropora table coral. The white coral polyps, looking like hairs, are out feeding in the current.

Bring a Sweater

With its complicated geology, diving in Sulawesi brings divers into contact with unexpected phenomena. Diving in Gorontalo is known for its warm waters, usually 29 – 30 degrees Celcius. However, during the last dive yesterday everyone’s computers registered 26 degrees! During the ten years plus that we have been diving here, this is the coldest ever recorded temperature. This is great for the coral reefs. Once the full moon starts to wane, we expect temperatures to return to their normal range.

Pardon Our Dust

Miguels Diving new officeMiguel’s Diving has just finished renovating the office in time of opening of diving season. However, our construction work at the dock is still in progress. So we ask for everyone’s patience and hope everything will be clean by early December.

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