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How can we repair coral reef?

artificial reef programs at Bawah Reserve, how to repair coral reef.

As a protected marine conservation area, we work hard to maintain and nurture growth in our lagoons. How do we do this, you ask? Here’s our comprehensive guide to coral reef repair along with some of the reef restoration techniques we are trialing at Bawah Reserve and their progress so far.

 


Why is coral reef restoration important?


Coral reefs are the most biologically diverse marine habitats in the world, host to an extraordinary variety of plants and animals, they occupy less than 0.1% of the world’s ocean area and yet are home to approximately 25% of all marine species. They are also one of the world's most fragile and endangered ecosystems. More on what a coral reef is here from World Atlas of Coral Reefs
Further, recent studies estimate the economic value of coral reefs in the trillions of dollars as
they are a significant source of food, provide income and employ countless other benefits to humans. 


How are coral reefs restored? How can we repair coral reef?


There are many artificial reef programs in place all over the world, with the goal of helping to
bring coral reefs back to life. 


“Artificial reefs can come in all shapes and sizes, but the thing they all have in common is that they must be made of a stable, strong, non-reactive substrate. By providing this stable structure the artificial reef affords protection from predators for local fish and invertebrate populations and also provides somewhere for coral recruits to settle and grow.” 5 things you didn't know about coral reefs


How long does coral restoration take?


Coral reef restoration is a long process taking anywhere from nine years to decades. Remember coral has been forming for thousands of years, it is a natural formation that needs time to mature - sadly there is no overnight fix for this one. Depending on the species, corals grow from 2cm to 10cm per year, so it’s a bit of a waiting game.


What are some methods being used to restore coral reefs?


“Unsustainable fishing practices in the past have degraded coral reef ecosystems in several locations around Pulau Bawah and left rubble that is not stable enough for juvenile corals to settle and grow on. The purpose of artificial reef is to create a stable substrate for juvenile corals recruits, while also providing shelter for reef fish.” Raymond Saja, General Manager, Bawah Reserve, Indonesia

Here at Bawah, we are creating these stable substrates using 4 different coral reef restoration

methods :

Here’s where we are currently:


And here is the plan for 2022:

 


Coral spiders

 


“Degraded reef habitats can be rehabilitated over large scales using the coral spider technique. A spider frame is relatively inexpensive to build and light enough to easily transport and install on a reef. The open shape of these frames allows room for corals to grow and allows water to flow through the
frame. This technique is especially useful for areas that have been damaged by blast fishing, anchor, or storm damage, where structural complexity has been lost.” Anambas Foundation Project Reef Restoration 
 


 
Hexadomes

 


Modern artificial reefs are commonly built with non-reactive metal or concrete and they can be any size and shape that the builder's imagination can allow. Some designs have become more popular than others, such as these concrete hexadomes. 

“Of all the materials used for artificial reefs, concrete most closely resembles natural reef formations, which is why it is so widely used” Process Barron Concrete Artificial Reef 


Bottle reefs

 

Bottle units have proven to be very effective in reef restoration. Using recycled glass bottles is one way to turn ocean waste on it’s head! Literally… Glass bottles get fixed into a concrete base and fragments of coral are transplanted into the open mouths of the bottle. 

 

 


Guests at Bawah are invited to get involved in the coral reef restoration effort by joining the diving team on marine conservation dives.  Before the dive guests will get a short presentation on what they will be doing, the type of dive they are about to do, and the reef restoration methods used in the dive. Then during the dive guests will visit the reef restoration projects and can help transplant and preserve coral for future generations as well as assist with other marine conservation efforts such as underwater clean-ups to remove ghost fishing nets and equipment left on the reef.  Learn More.

 

If you would like to contribute to the ongoing marine conservation efforts please consider donating to the Anambas Foundation who work on restoring reefs around the Anambas Archipelago including at Bawah Reserve.

 

 

Fancy a trip to Bawah Reserve? 

Start Your Journey

 

 

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