Coral Propagation Project
While there is an abundance of fish life, the reefs once covered with live corals are bare in many places. In 1998, unusually warm oceanic waters caused by an exceptionally strong El Nino event caused the corals to bleach across a large portion of the Maldivian reefs. As a result many corals died and coral cultivation projects have become a valuable tool for restoring reefs and nurturing them back to health. These artificial reefs also enhance biodiversity on less productive sandy areas.
Thanks to the observations and conclusions from the reef balls project at the Four Seasons resort at Kuda Huraa, as well as the need to relocate coral colonies away from the construction areas at the Four Seasons at Landaa Giraavaru, Seamarc developed a new artificial reef system, the “coral trays”. These new structures improve the resistance to predation and avoid sedimentation, while providing a suitable substrate for the fragments. The project started on February 2005 by implanting 100 coral trays (400m²) around the island. The main colonies were fragmented into many small fragments that have been transplanted on these coral trays.
After less than 12 months, the results surprised by the incredible growth rate of the fragments. Some of them grew 30 cm long and large. Now, after 2 years we reached a full reef effect.
This cost effective and sustainable method has permitted to quickly produce 400 m² of healthy artificial coral reefs. Sandy and empty areas are now becoming an oasis for thousands of reefs fishes which settled in this new and balanced habitat. These reefs are also now able to provide the necessary “second generation” fragments to install many other structures around the island. We will multiply the surface by 2 in less than 2 years without taking any fragments from the wild and relying only on the ones produced on previous trays.
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Seamarc Pvt. Ltd. 2003