We’re writing to you live from the reefs of Ebeye Island at Kwajalein Atoll in the Republic of the Marshall Islands. We know a lot about the Marshall Islands for their rare and endemic reef fish and especially wrasses, but we’re out here on a prospecting mission to get a good first hand look at what potential the reef builders of Kwajalein Atoll can hold for use and cultivation in the home coral and reef aquarium.
On our first dive right on the lagoon side of Ebeye Island the coral abundance and diversity is quite remarkable, ranging easily from 60 to 100 percent coral cover at many places of the reef. Certain coral species like branching Porites cylindrica and Porites rus make up a predictably large percentage of the dominant species but Acropora and Pavona are surprisingly well represented.
Being the coral junkies that we are you know that we have an eye out for the unique and endemic species of stony corals that we might find here, and the first cursory dive certainly did not disappoint. We’ve already succeeded in finding a few of our target species for the central Pacific Ocean region including some beautiful red Acropora speciosa, the newly described Acropora rongelapensis, the relatively unknown Astreopora gracilis and several others. Enjoy this first wave of teaser shots coming at ya straight from Ebeye Island, it’s now time to suit up and get ready to go to scout out another exciting coral reef site.