Coral Reef Conservation
Coral Reefs are one of the most important Ecosystems on our planet, they are also one of the most beautiful places on this earth to visit as any Scuba Diver, Free Diver or Snorkeler will tell you. Their stunning in photos, documentaries and films, but to experience their beauty with your own eyes is an experience that will never leave you.
Our location in the Coral Triangle and the Birds Head sea scape, here in Raja Ampat holds the world’s largest number of Coral species, approximately 65% of all coral species identified can be found right here.
Its rarely understood the vital role that coral reefs play in the survival of many other plants, organisms and animals on this earth. They are living communities which play a myriad of roles for thousands of marine animals and humans.
So what makes corals and therefore coral reefs so special and why is it important to conserve them? There are many reasons and we’ll only highlight a few here: Corals and coral reefs and Coral reefs fascinating facts
- They form a symbiotic relationship with photosynthetic algae known as Zooxanthellae, its this relationship and photosynthesis that produces oxygen.
- Reefs provide shelter and protection for tens of thousands or marine animals. 1/3 of all marine fish species spend part of their lives in coral reef systems.
- They protect our Shores and beaches from wave damage from storms
- They provide food for marine life and humans
- They are important in medical research with coral compounds are used for the treatment of Cancer, Bone Grafts, Bone metabolic disorders to name a few.
- They provide local communities with income in the form of tourism with recreational divers and snorkelers visiting the reefs.
Threats to Coral reefs
Depending on what literature you read it has been estimated that we have already lost between 10-30% of our coral reefs already. It is predicted that around 60% is now considered as at high risk due to human related activities, some of these human threats are: Coral mining, agriculture and urban runoff, Over fishing and blast fishing, disease, Sea temperature rise, Sea Level rise and ocean acidification. The last three being associated with the effects of green house gas emissions.
The Future of our coral reefs is in the balance and we believe that there is still time to make a difference.
Its believed that the corals here in Raja Ampat are more resilient to temperature change and Disease due to surviving in higher average sea Temperatures. This places us in the worlds key area for coral conservation.
Our Coral conservation aims run in several forms
We promote safe diver and snorkeler practices
We do not sell shell or coral local crafts
We promote the use of reef safe sun screens
We safely dispose of our rubbish
We regularly do beach clean ups
Our boats do not anchor on reefs, we use mooring lines here on our house reef
We only buy Line caught fish and no reef fish.
We have set up and are maintaining a Coral Nursery to help with reef restoration
We are planning an artificial reef
Our Coral Nursery
Biodiversity Eco Resort Started its first coral nursery in July 2016. Initial results showed our house reef to be an ideal location in which to grow corals. The first phase of the project to provide a better environment for broken coral fragments to grown. This proved to be a great success and we developed the nursery further to now grow small coral fragments from healthy corals that had survived the increased temperature we saw in November and December of 2016. Therefore producing healthy and genetic strong corals that are more hardy to rising sea temperatures. A new larger tree was designed and became the new platform for both rescue corals and healthy coral fragments.
Initial result from the healthy stag horn coral species placed into the tree in January of 2017 are growing very well and at a rapid rate. We estimate that within the year they will be large enough to transplant back into the reef. This has now lead us to start the design of an artificial reef, where we will be able to attach our nursery grown corals and see how well they do in the artificial reef. Future plans of these projects are to be able to provide others with a working model and system that they too can implement to aid in these conservation efforts in Raja Ampat. The plans for the artificial reef will be to test which model works best and in the future build more artificial reefs in areas where the corals have been damaged by dynamite fish or boat damage and begin the restoration of these damaged areas.
Please have a look at our Blog for coral nursery updates and reports.
Corals are ancient and simple animals related to jellyfish and anemones of the Phylum Cnideria. An individual coral is made up of hundreds and thousands of genetically identical polyps forming a colony. A polyp [...]
RAJA AMPAT BIODIVERSITY ECO RESORT CORAL NURERY UPDATE. It has now been 5 months since we started our very own coral nursery right here on our house reef. We have now had a number of [...]