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Biorock… technology helps nature
Ok, so as divers, we have known for some time the importance of our coral reef and its fragility in this constantly warming world. So I actually have some potentially good news.
We have seen the benefits of creating artificial reefs in areas where coral has been damaged either by reckless fishing action or warming waters. In fact here in Sharm the Red Sea College has created a great artifiical reef in the Naama Bay area which is already home to a whole host of fish, although coral has yet to follow. And, during my Madagascar conservation project, we witnessed the success of fish aggregation devices. Where there is shelter, the fish will gather, and if the conditions are right, coral will eventually grow.
This has now been taken one stage further. Basically metal frames have been used as a basis for an artificial reef in Indonesa and onto this, dying coral segments have been grafted. A mild electrical current is then passed through the structure, as well as through wire mesh placed elsewhere on the reef. This encourages the growth of limestone and the coral has begun to thrive!!! And even better, because the metabolism of the coral has been increased, it has actually shown itself to be less vulnerable to warmer temperatures! Read more about it at the Biorock home page.
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