Black coral diving was observed in Jamaica by very skilled swimmers, diving to a depth of 60 – 80 feet.
Our dental team practices in Kansas City rendering dental care near Brookside.
A get-a-way in Jamaica is just the thing to refresh and change the scenery for a KC dentist.
Vendors on the island were selling a precious commodity that aroused my curiosity.
Black coral is harvested and cut to make tiny ornaments and jewelry.
From a small motorboat, a man treading water was holding a burlap bag about to take another plunge for what some call black gold.
No scuba gear was noted on his person or in the boat.
Divers make their way to the bottom and scurry back to the surface for air.
It takes years of conditioning to swim to a depth where there is black coral without oxygen tanks, weights, or a rubber suit.
If you’ve ever considered buying pieces of jewelry made from black coral, buy from a dealer that can verify the product and its quality.
The material is very light weight, shaped by artist laboring to suit your fancy.
Some forms are in shallow water, an inexpensive version readily available on Florida’s beaches.
More expensive black coral grows in deep water and is heavily regulated by authorities.
Small pieces purchased from divers in this manner are precious because of the story behind the pieces you buy.
Antipatharians grow in shady or dark habitats anchored to hard substrata. They are believed to grow very slowly.
One Jamaican study indicates most exploratory dives were carried out at sites on the north coast of Jamaica and at depths of less than 40 meters.
It is likely that additional species may be found with more intensive and deeper exploration.
One table noted the highest species richness was entirely located beneath a large overhang, dimly lit, but exposed to long-shore currents. Low light intensity appears to be a common feature of antipatharian habitats, suggesting negative phototaxis at settlement.
Black coral diving appeared a dangerous endeavor for the men risking life and limb.
From the Diary of my enlightenment,
A.L. Clark, D.D.S. http://dentist4you.biz