[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
Throughout February and March, Nature Seychelles’ Reef Rescuers team have been hard at work surveying the project sites around Cousin Island Special Reserve, a really important part of the coral reef restoration process. The aim of the large-scale assessment was to quantify the effects of the 2016 bleaching event and to assess the current status of the project, 7 years on from its inception.
Although Nature Seychelles' underwater coral nursery in the Marine Park by Felicité Island is located close to the shore, bad weather and rough sea conditions can make a shore dive impossible. During rainy days, our Reef Rescuers depend on the boat to complete tasks related to the nursery cleaning, monitoring of the donor site and survey of potential transplantation site.
A proposal to undertake a large-scale coral reef restoration project in the Colombian Caribbean has been shortlisted for support by the European Outdoor Conservation Association (EOCA). Now, outdoor enthusiasts and project supporters will vote to decide if the project gets to receive funding for long-term sustainability.
Nature Seychelles’ Reef Rescuers team was recently invited to collaborate with the Island Resort Six Senses Zil Pasyon and conduct a feasibility assessment. The main objective of this survey was to see if we could implement a Coral Garden Project within the Marine Protected Area (MPA) of Félicité Island.
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.
A Report from Nature Seychelles’ International Volunteer Program
I arrived on Praslin and was met by two volunteers who showed me to the dorms at Nature Seychelles’ Island Conservation Centre and who helped me settle in. I then met Nature Seychelles’ Reef Rescuers team the next day - Louise and Austin.
Scarring and sheeting of nursery grown corals are among the first steps towards successful rearing. The scaring process - depending on the growth structure and type of coral - can take anywhere from two weeks to a month and a half.