As a freshly graduated and passionate marine biologist, being offered an opportunity to volunteer with Nature Seychelles is my first step to building a career in coral reef restoration. As a volunteer, I’m gaining lots of experience in different aspects of reef restoration, from working on the nursery to monitoring the resilience of the reef. My favourite aspect of this role has to be the batfish!
[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.
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.
INSIDE SEYCHELLES, Issue 7, October 2017: When visiting the Seychelles you may want to spend your holiday lounging or sunbathing on the stunning white sandy beaches; or perhaps you are the more aquatic type into diving or snorkelling and want to enjoy the underwater beauty; maybe you are into fishing for pleasure or sport. Whichever of these brings you to this 115-island-strong archipelago, they are all dependent on coral reefs, healthy coral reefs.
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!