22 Feb Gaining New Knowledge on Coral Rehabilitation
Our Conservation Science Coordinator and Nusa Penida Field Officer joined the final day of a course on coral identification and rehabilitation at Calypso Diving Bali in Amed. Led by Vincent of the non-governmental organization Ocean Gardener, our team along with several other students observed and participated in the process of coral planting.
At theirr ehabilitation site is a nursery consisting of several metal racks for growing coral fragments, most at a depth of about 3–4 meters and one at a depth of about 15 meters. Different species are grown at each depth. Each fragment is mounted on a cement base that sits in a slot on the rack until it is ready for out-planting onto the reef, usually after 3–6 months. Several different coral species are cultivated, their selection based on the composition of corals already growing in the area. Branching, foliose and massive lifeforms are all cultivated using the rack system. In addition, Vincent is experimenting with the microfragmenting technique for coral propagation, where coral fragments are sliced into tiny (one square centimeter or less) pieces and cultivated in the nursery. Microfragmenting has been shown to increase coral growth rates by 25 times or more (source). Thanks to Ocean Gardener and Calypso Diving Bali for hosting this learning opportunity.
Photos by : R. Utami and K. Currier/CTC