Archive for December 3rd, 2012

TPW TV: Caribbean Connection

Monday, December 3rd, 2012

Texas Flower Garden Banks

Texas Flower Garden Banks

This is Passport to Texas

Sometimes freezes kill fish and coral in the Gulf. If researchers prove a connection between the same species in warmer Caribbean waters, they’ll have a resource for restoring losses. TV Producer Bruce Biermann says the Texas Parks and Wildlife TV show examines this issue.

This is our 25th year going to Mexico.

Texas A&M University has been studying the waters off the coast of the Yucatan, and the waters off the Texas coast, and comparing down to a very small genetic level the fish and the coral.

What we’re just really looking for is trying to get genetic evidence that supports that the current that comes out of the Caribbean into the Gulf of Mexico is the ultimate source of populations in the Gulf of Mexico.

I followed Texas A & M to the Caribbean waters off the coast of the Yucatan. They were doing studies on a couple kinds of fish and a couple kinds of coral. Taking samples. Then they came back up here to Texas to our coral reef – the Flower Garden Bank – which is a hundred miles of the Texas Louisiana Border. And they took the exact same species of samples from there, compared them, and sure enough at a genetic level they are absolutely identical.

We have two different alleles for this gene, and it’s found in all three sites, which means that these three sites are, in fact, interconnected – that there is genetic exchange that takes place. There really is a Caribbean connection.

The Caribbean Connection airs on PBS stations this week.

For Texas Parks and Wildlife…I’m Cecilia Nasti.