Fish are a lot like people.  We’ve already talked about the Jersey Shore fish behavior, and here we have an interesting study showing that larger fish, like this sweetlips, clearly like the vertical protection and many exit options of this shelf, which is basically their version of a coffee shop.  They can get in, lurk without many others seeing them, and sneak out the back door with no one noticing.  The problem here, is that the shelf in the photo is acting as a replacement for tabling Acroporas, efflorescens or possibly hyacinthus.  These are very finicky corals, susceptible to rapid death from stressors like detritus and temperature changes.  When we see those mass bleaching events on the news, there is always some big white tabling acro right in the middle.  If the tabling acros die, where are the fish to go for shelter.  Or, to put it another way, if they closed down all the Starbucks, is there any city in America that would not immediately descend into anarchy? LINK

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