Monday, April 23, 2012

Planting Coral for the Earth...


22nd of April marked  ‘Earth Day’, and here at Gili Lankanfushi we decided to dedicate ourselves to the biological habitat that created and maintains the Maldives - the coral reefs. Sadly, today it’s one of the most threatened habitats on the globe - in fact 75 % of the world’s coral reefs are threatened due to human impact.  
To spread awareness about the coral reefs, highlight their importance to coral island nations like Maldives, and to revive the reefs around our island, we gathered together interested guests and hosts for a coral planting activity. 

Following an introductory talk, we successfully planted two coral trays, made from metal reinforcing bars, with over 150 coral fragments, consisting mainly of a single species of branching stag-horn coral. The fragments that we used were actually salvaged from a neighbouring coral reef that has suffered damage. This is a coral planting technique that can be employed by anyone who notices coral damage and wants to help the reefs.  All that coral needs to grow are similar conditions to the collection site and a stable attachment platform above the sandy seabed e.g. (rope, metal bar, concrete). Corals are colonial animals composed of hundreds of polyps on a calcareous skeleton and, even if the coral skeleton is broken into pieces, every piece can still grow - all it needs is to be attached to something!

I will keep you updated on the Growth of the coral on the trays ! 



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