It’s now been over 6 months since we implemented a pilot artificial reef project at the Rose Garden marine protected area. Loose coral fragments that had broken off the reef (due to storm damage, fishing nets etc.) were salvaged from the sea bed and attached to a series of metal structures placed over coral rubble. The aim of this project is to stimulate recovery of degraded reefs and restore habitat complexity. We are pleased to report that progress so far has been very promising. At 6 months post-transplantation, over 90% of the corals had survived, 30% of corals had self-attached to the structures, and natural coral recruitment was evident on the degraded reef below the structures. You can download the full 6-month progress report from the Reef Doctor Hara Project page.
Due to these successes, we have now expanded the project, implementing another series of structures at the same site. Later in the year, when sea temperatures are lower, our science team will attach coral fragments that have been cultivated in our coral nurseries to these new structures. Please stay tuned for further updates and photos of our expanding artificial reef programme!