Seagate Coral Monitoring

Language(s)

Grace Easteria

As one of the most diverse and valuable ecosystems, coral reefs are now considered the most vulnerable ecosystems to climate change and local anthropogenic pressures (Hein et al. 2020). Healthy coral reefs provide habitat and food for about 4,000 species of reef fish and hundreds of other species (Veron 2000, Lieske and Myers 2001), protect coastal areas from damage caused by waves and become livelihood for at least half a billion people around the world through fishing, recreational and tourism activities. 

 

A coral reef actually has the ability to naturally recover from damage. But their ability is profoundly affected by the level of chronic anthropogenic disturbance. Reefs that are stressed by human activities often show poor ability to recover compared to the unstressed coral reefs. Though, this recovery process will take many years and restoration comes as our assistance to natural recovery. 

 

As part of Carbon ethics, we managed to transplant 1,000 coral fragments in our Seagate structures in Padang Bai, Bali. This is a very good start to our coral restoration program. Restoration activity won’t finish and stop at coral transplantation activity only but includes a monitoring program and maintenance. Through  these activities we ensure all the coral fragments are free from disturbances that will affect their ability to grow. The first six months is a critical period for transplanted corals.

 

The objective of monitoring is to identify problems that may need adaptive management, such as maintenance, and to show progress towards goals, which is the increasing coral cover. Here are 6 activities we carry out in our monitoring and maintenance program:

  1. Taking coral height data and visually observing the condition of the corals in 4 quadrants on each side of the Seagate structure 
  2. Taking a photo from each quadrant
  3. Gently brushes the coral, this is important to prevent notably fleshy or filamentous macroalgae covering the coral surface and blocking off sunlight for the zooxanthellae to photosynthesize. 
  4. Removing any loose fouling materials, whether in the form of man-made flotsam (e.g. garbage, fishing net) or natural items like loose seaweed fronds and also sponges and tunicates that may overgrow our corals.
  5. Reattaching the detached transplants since the corals haven’t properly attached themselves to the structure, some coral fragments may get detached as a result of physical disturbance (e.g. waves, fish, divers). 
  6. Ensuring there’s no coral predators such as some gastropods (e.g. Drupella, Coralliophila) and some echinoderms (e.g. Acanthaster, Culcita) attached to the corals.

 

We do the monitoring once every two months and are very excited to see all the coral grow well under our care.

 

Resource:

Hein MY, McLeod IM, Shaver EC, Vardi T, Pioch S, Boström-Einarsson L, Ahmed M, Grimsditch G. (2020) Coral Reef Restoration as a strategy to improve ecosystem services – A guide to coral restoration methods. United Nations Environment Program, Nairobi, Kenya.

Veron JEN, Stafford-Smith MG (2000) Corals of the World. AIMS, Townsville

Lieske, E, Myers, R (2001) Coral Reef Fishes: Indo-Pacific and Caribbean. Princeton University Press

Grace Easteria

Coral Reef Restoration Project in a Thousand Island

Coral reef rehabilitation in Thousand Island aims to restore coral reef cover that has been damaged as a result of human activities. Seeing that the Thousand Islands are coral islands, coral reefs are greatly significant in the coastal protection of the local community. Besides its ecological benefit, this project also provides income through restoration projects and tourism activities and helps boost up the potential of marine tourism in the Thousand Islands which was previously damaged by over 60%.

Instagram: @geasteria
Twitter: @geasteria
Want to connect with Grace? Write to restorationstewards@gmail.com

We want you to share this article, which is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-Non Commercial-Share Alike 4.0 International (CC BY-NC-SA 4.0). This means you are free to redistribute our material for non-commercial purposes. All we ask is that you give appropriate credit and link to this content, indicate if changes were made, and distribute your contributions under the same Creative Commons license. You must notify us if you repost, reprint or reuse our materials by contacting info[at]globallandscapesforum.org.


Leave a Reply

Supporting partners

Under the banner of Generation Restoration, the Youth in Landscapes Initiative (YIL) and the Global Landscapes Forum (GLF) launched the Restoration Stewards program in 2020 to support and highlight the work of six young restoration practitioners and their teams, dubbed ‘Restoration Stewards’. The year-long program provides funding, mentorship, and training to deepen the impact of these projects.
In 2021, the Restoration Stewards and their teams will be supported to further develop their project and will become ambassadors at both global and local levels. Globally, the Restoration Stewards will share their journey in a series of vlogs and blogs documenting their stories of inspiration and challenges. Locally, they will spark a restoration movement, creating pathways to connect, share, learn, and act for more sustainable landscapes.