It's been 10 years since Nature Seychelles made a splash in the local waters with the launch of its ground-breaking and game-changing Reef Rescuers project. Based on Praslin Island and working in the Cousin Island Special Reserve, the project sought to restore coral reefs damaged by climate change-induced coral bleaching. The herculean task was met with some scepticism and naysaying in some quarters. But a decade down the line, we have proved that, yes, we can restore corals. And we can do so at a large scale.
Coral reef managers are increasingly turning to restoration as a strategy to combat reef degradation and promote reef recovery. As a result, different techniques are being used across the globe, making it difficult to choose the right approach for your location’s specific needs and capabilities.
[Seychelles, December 10, 2018] The toolkit derives from a ground-breaking large scale coral reef restoration project the NGO has carried out in the Seychelles, an archipelago of 115 islands in the Indian Ocean off of East Africa.
Nature Seychelles, a leading NGO in the Western Indian Ocean, has announced the launch of a coral reef restoration toolkit developed in the Seychelles today.
Nature Seychelles uses the coral gardening method to restore coral reefs affected by bleaching. Jake Letori, one of our Reef Rescuers volunteers illustrates the last stage of the method in this video to demonstrate the coral restoration process happening on Felicite Island, Seychelles:
Acroporid and pocilloporid colonies have been growing in a mid-water nursery for the past 12-months. My role was to help move these corals from the nursery and onto the reef. Here’s what you need to do.
[Step 1] Find a suitable space for a coral colony, preferably away from other corals. Make sure the position is a good fit, not easily dislodged by a hungry fish and secure enough to withstand wave and tidal movements.
[Step 2] Once in place you need to scrub. Scrubbing the reef surface will remove any algae and encrusting organisms that could slow coral growth and prevent you from cementing the coral.
[Step 3] Transplant your coral. We use the piping technique, maneuvering around the coral and cementing points of contact between coral and reef substrate.
Video: @j_letori on Instagram
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.