A team of researchers from the Hawaii Department of Land and Natural Resources are currently surveying the area of Kauai, Hawaii and announced that more than 50% of the coral reefs have been affected by what scientists call the “black band coral” disease.
According to the researchers, if no one does something about it in the near future, all the coral reefs of Kauai might die off.
The researchers first discovered the black band coral disease in 2004 and since then, the problem has been getting worse. The first massive outbreak occurred in 2014, when many of the coral reefs were killed by this mysterious disease.
A group of researchers from the Hawaii Institute of Marine Biology are currently analyzing the issue and are looking for what causes this disease in order to find a cure for it and stop it from further spreading to other coral reefs.
The scientists said that out of about 47 reef regions in the Kauai area, 23 of them are infested with the black band coral disease and are seriously affected.
According to what the experts are saying, this disease does not affect only the waters in the Hawaii area, it was also found near coral reef areas all over the world, mainly in tropical regions.
Even though there is no known cure for this disease, the researchers have managed to come up with a way of slowing down its spreading.
The experts discovered that by covering the corals with a special kind of putty that coats them completely, this is able to smother the disease. However, this method does not seem to kill the disease, as per the researchers.
The scientists named it the black band coral disease because it leaves black lesions in the shape of a band on the coral reefs.
This black band covers the body of the coral and kills it in a slow manner.
The black band coral disease affects three types of rice coral, known as Monipora. These corals are especially found on the Makua and Anini beaches in Kauai.
The researchers who are currently studying this coral disease have managed to find three types of bacteria collected from the dead coral.
They believe the coral gets infected mostly due to stress, which affects their immune system, weakening them.
This way the disease can spread all over the coral, killing it eventually. One of the factors that stress the coral is global warming, according to the scientists.
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