13 Nov Beneath the Waves: Restoring Life in the Nusa Penida’s Underwater

On October 26-27, 2023,  Coral Triangle Center (CTC) Coral Reef Restoration Task Force team, People and Nature Consulting International (PNCI) expert, and the Quicksilver Cruise crew conducted Reef Star trial installation at Toya Pakeh and Gamat Bay, Nusa Penida.

The two-days activity aims to positively impact the marine environment as a pilot installation to evaluate the survival and growth of coral fragments attached to the structures for coral reef restoration. This evaluation will provide insights into selected method effectiveness in promoting coral restoration. The project also conducted a final site assessment to select the CTC’s Demonstration Site, which will serve as a model for future conservation efforts and showcase coral reef restoration.

The Reef Star is selected as a trial method on coral reef restoration at CTC’s Demonstration Site in Nusa Penida marine protected area (MPA). The trial Installation aims to install 20 Reef Star structures across Toya Pakeh and Gamat Bay sites, providing a solid foundation for coral growth. Coral fragments were collected from the same sites dan depth, adhering to Mars Assisted Reef Restoration System (MARRS) standard for consistency, scientific based and alignment with best practices in coral reef restoration.

The project began on October 26, 2023, with 300 coral fragments collected at Toya Pakeh and affixed to 20 Reef Star structures. Coral tying was done on the Quicksilver mega pontoon, and the Reef Stars were submerged underwater and transported to their designated installation sites.

Ten Reef Stars were installed at Toya Pakeh and Gamat Bay, specifically selected based on prior survey results. The installation adhered to the MARRS standard for optimal coral attachment and growth. The Reef Stars for Gamat Bay were transported via a speedboat, sprayed with seawater, and shuttled to their underwater locations.

On the following day, October 27, 2023, comprehensive quality control procedures were conducted at both installation locations, including inspecting cable ties on coral fragments and Reef Star legs, and examining stakes for secure placement. This process is crucial for the long-term success of the Reef Star Trial Installation at Toya Pakeh and Gamat Bay, Nusa Penida, and contributes to marine ecosystem conservation.

In conclusion, the Reef Star trial installation in Nusa Penida showcases collaborative efforts to revive marine ecosystems, assessing Reef Star’s potential in coral restoration. The activity has also underscored the potentials of artificial reef systems in marine ecosystem restoration. Scaling-up will follow based on the result of the trial toward demonstration site development as a learning platform on coral reef restoration in Indonesia.

Writers: Arapa Efendi, Marthen Welly, Eureka Amadea
Photos: Marthen Welly/CTC

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