Lonely Planet Writer

Mysterious disease continues to affect Kauai coral reefs

Coral reef, Kauai.
Coral reef, Kauai. Image by ruthdaniel3444 / CC BY 2.0

A new study from Hawaii’s Department of Land and Natural resources says nearly half of the coral reefs off the coast of Kauai are affected by black band coral disease. The disease, which is found in tropical areas around the world, causes coral tissue death and has large implications for the ecosystem in Hawaii’s waters. First found in Hawaii in 2004, researchers recorded a large spike in cases in 2012 and now say the disease is found in 23 of the 47 sites studied around Kauai. Scientists posit rising temperatures are associated with the outbreak – a concern due to weather predictions forecasting higher temperatures in coming months. Read more: nytimes.com