How swimmers can help fight coral diseaseUPDATED 6:41 PM HST May 06, 2014Video Transcript
Swimmers, snorklers, and surfers could be the next line of defense against a coral die-off.. The state's looking for help making sure a problem on Kauai's North Shore doesn't spread... KITV4's Catherine Cruz has the latest developments in this ongoing struggle. :8-:13 1:00-1:09 1:24-1:38 It's called black band coral disease and this is what it looks like. It first turned up in Kauai waters in 2006. Two summers ago marine photographer Terry Lilley began documenting the die-off... triggering a rapid response team of experts from the Univeristy of Hawaii, National Marine Fisheries and U.S. Geological survey to spring into action. Scientists pinpointed the bluegreen algae-- that has been attacking monterpora rice corals. They do know it is spreading although so far the outbreak is just on Kauai-- most recently documented at Ke'e and Makua beach. - Frazer 44:09 44:14 - "We really hope we can control it before it spreads elsewhere," Now, the various agencies are preparing to launch a campaign to enlist ocean users to be on the lookout for the disease across the state. Frazer McGilvray3:45 - 4:00 -"We do know of coral diseases that have wiped out 80 percent of the coral in the carribean. So, this is potentially a very,very damaging disease so we need to get a handle on it here," - CRUZ 15:55- 16:00 OR 16:27-1624 -"Summer is just around corner and scientists fully expect more of these hotspots to crop up but they hope this approach and this website will help keep the public on guard" Aquatic Resource staff have launched a new webpage they hope will be a go-to site for information including links to the Eyes of the Reef-- a non profit group reporting marine problems. - ANNE 9:12 -9: 30 - "The Eyes of the Reef website is where you go to file your observations and send in your photos... The Reef Response webpage on the DLNR site is where all the information that is coming out of the multi-agency team. It's a one-stop shop for infomation," The state's new aquatic resources boss admits his program is massively understaffed and underfunded to deal with the problem on its own. - Frazer 5:58 -6:11 -"In an ideal world we would have been on this ten years ago but the best thing we can say is, we are on it now and moving forward we know we have to do this," The state says its been about six years since an emergency marine response and management plan has been on the books-- but this is the first time the agencies have taken it to this level. back to you.