Covering less than 1% of the ocean’s surface, corals reefs provide habitat for nearly one third of the all saltwater fish species and 10% of all fish captured for human consumption.
Corals play an essential role in the ocean’s eco-system, while protecting shores from the impact of waves, providing human food and medicine, and providing economic benefits in tourism for the local communities.
However, global threats to coral reefs have been increasing due to overfishing, inland pollution, global climate change, ocean acidification… and coral-reefs are dying around the world.
Along with fighting against pollution and climate change, Pulau Macan has adopted a new strategy to help increase the number of corals around the Thousand Islands north of Jakarta, Indonesia: Coral Reef Farming (also known as Coral Aquaculture).
The island resort purchases segments of live corals, places them in a specialized compartment, and places them in an underwater nursery until they are ready to be transplanted in the ocean.
This monthly activity connects locals (who’s income mainly comes from fishing) and tourists, providing education and conservation: a great example of a responsible tourism project!
Step by step Coral Reef Farming
1st step: Check out the local laws on extracting coral segments (some countries do not allow it, and you will have to purchase them in a coral farming nursery).
2nd step (if no laws are applied): Get informed and identify the local population of Acropora (the easiest and fastest growing coral species).
3rd step: Build a specialized structure to host the corals fragments using PVC pipes.
4th step: Find the species, make sure that the coral is healthy, and remove a fragment (about the size of a thumb). Keep in saltwater until ready to use.
5th step: Place each coral fragment in the PVC pipe openings, and fill the remaining space with cement. Make sure the fragment is nice and stable and let dry. Once all the pipes are filled up, place the structure below water on the ocean ground and make sure it is well fixed.
6th step: Monitor the coral growing, and release them in the ocean when they are ready (approx. 1 year later, when they have grown to approx. 30cm high).
This initiative can be applied in any ocean environment with natural reefs. For more information on how to start a Coral Reef Farming project, please check out our video below!