Watching, nurturing and documenting the growth and development of corals in a nursery, from a 5 cm fragment to a colony as big as a football, is truly rewarding for the Nature Seychelles' Reef Rescuers team. The nursery and all the work that goes into its care is an essential part of the reef restoration process, helping prepare coral fragments for the reef.
(Seychelles News Agency) - Seychelles has become a leader in the worldwide effort to restore corals grown in underwater nurseries that could help the fragile species adapt to rising water temperatures and climate change. The pioneer in this regard has been Nature Seychelles with their Reef Rescuers project that started eight years ago.
One of the tasks that Nature Seychelles' Reef Rescuers have to carry out regularly is cleaning the underwater nursery ropes of Algae and other biofouling organisms. This is a formidable task that takes a lot of time because it involves cleaning of thousands of corals hanging underwater in rope nurseries.
"3, 2, 1…let’s go,” says Paul, one of the Technical and Scientific Officers for Reef Rescuers, as he signals we are ready to dive.
TODAY Newspaper; 16 December 2017: by Kate Carolus. The first report on the state of coral reefs of all countries of the Western Indian Ocean (WIO) is out. It was officially presented on Saturday 9 December in Nairobi, Kenya, during the ICRI General Assembly of the International Coral Reef Initiative (ICRI). The purpose of the publication is to provide updated information on the state of coral reefs in the region, including impacts of one of the largest coral bleaching events in 2016.
For the past two weeks, Nature Seychelles’ Reef Rescuers team stayed on Felicity Island to initiate a coral reef restoration project in partnership with the 5-star resort Six Senses Zil Pasyon. This 18-months project aims at restoring the coral population of Anse Péniche located on the North West side of Felicity Island within Coco Island National Park. This reef experienced widespread coral mortality during the 2016 coral-bleaching event and is showing no signs of natural recovery.
Spreading from the western Pacific, the lethal heat wave associated to the 2015/17 El Niño hit the western Indian Ocean around February 2016. Here in the Seychelles, the water temperature averaged 30°C for four consecutive months, peaking over 31°C on some days!
It can be difficult to tear oneself away from infants for an extended period of time, but the much needed R&R from their constant daily demands can make the homecoming gratifying. Nature Seychelles’ Reef Rescuers team Louise Malaisé and Austin Laing-Herbert had to temporarily leave their underwater coral family to spend time with their real families over the festive season. Louise, the Technical & Scientific Officer tells us about the worries they had on leaving, how keen they were to get back to their coral nurseries and what they found on their return.
Nature Seychelles’ Reef Rescuers is a leader in Africa, says international group
Nature Seychelles’ coral reef restoration project, the Reef Rescuers has been identified as a “Blue Solution for Africa” by an international group consisting of the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP), the The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), GRID Arendal and the German Government.
The Minister of Environment, Climate Change and Energy, Mr. Didier Dogley officially launched the Nature Seychelles’ Coral Reef Restoration Training Program last week by symbolically cutting a ribbon on the Amitie beach on Praslin Island. Mr. Dogley, in the presence of Dr Nirmal Shah, the CEO of Nature Seychelles, other Nature Seychelles staff and the media waved the trainees off on their boat as they went for their first dive under the training program.