Healthy and Biodiverse Sponge Communities on IntelliReefs UN Endorsed Project 112-- Sint Maarten Caribbean Heathy Reefs = Feeding Fish, to Sharks to Turtles
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SPONGES ARE EVERYWHERE
Sponges are not casual components of the fauna in coral reefs worldwide. From fringing coral reefs, atolls, and patch reefs, to deeper reef escarpments, reef walls, or mesophotic reefs (50-150 m deep), sponges surpass any animal phyla in terms of species richness and living biomass in most tropical coral reefs (Diaz and Rützler, 2001; Reed et al., 2018). In the Caribbean, the number of different sponge species at any reef ranges from 50-300 species, and a large difference on species composition can be found among reefs within “15 km” (Hooper, 2018).
Figure 2. An IntelliReef prototype in Sint. Martin after 20 months underwater. The massive ramose salmon sponge, Desmapsanma anchorata, cradling a recruit of a fire coral Millepora species. Photo by: The Nature Foundation
Bleached sea sponges found in New Zealand waters for first time | New Zealand | The Guardian : Canary in the Coal Mine-- Sponge Species ALERT!
Sea sponges off New Zealand’s southern coastline have been found bleached bone-white for the first time, following extreme ocean temperatures.
A group of scientists from Victoria University of Wellington were alarmed to discover the sponges, which are typically a rich chocolate brown, were bleached in more than a dozen sites near Breaksea Sound and Doubtful Sound in Fiordland.
The university’s marine biology professor James Bell said in some parts as many as 95% of the sponges were bleached.
As the UN Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development and UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration take off, IntelliReefs US and Canadian offices are ramping up to answer the global call for innovative ocean solutions. Earlier this year, IntelliReefs submitted a "Decade Action" for the Ocean Decade, detailing the expansion of their large research and coral reef restoration project in Philipsburg, Sint Maarten with the local Nature Foundation. The team received news this week that IntelliReefs' Decade Action has been officially endorsed by the UN in a letter from the Executive Secretary of IOC-UNESCO.