Coral Rehabilitation and Conservation with Coco Collection II

Aug, 23 2023

We are thrilled to share with you an update on our collaboration with the University of Milano-Bicocca as we welcomed our new Marine Intern, Arianna Pica, this June.

Through analysis of fragments from our coral garden, Arianna has recorded 23 species of coral from 6 different genera using Coral External Morphology and Multi-Zoom Photographic Approach.

Two examples of healthy colonies of corals at the coral garden, Coco Palm Dhuni Kolhu

From her analysis, it was found that some of these corals are listed under the Maldives Red List of threatened species as both endangered and critically endangered levels of extinction risk, with a global decreasing population trend. It is therefore imperative that we take steps to protect them.

Example of two critically endangered identified coral species, that we have at the coral garden, Coco Palm Dhuni Kolhu

Coco Collection’s coral garden project focuses on branching coral species as these are some of the fastest growing species with a complex 3-dimensional structure. Due to this, they have more habitat space to attract more marine life. These branching corals are also sensitive to breakage due to their delicate forms. Therefore, broken pieces are usually found scattered across our rubble zones. Later, these pieces are collected and placed on the artificial reef frames for a chance of survival and continuation of growth.

Among the endangered species, a Pocillopora meandrina fragment was found partially covered by a greyish mat. This is due to Terpios hoshinota also known as black disease, an encrusting cyanobacteriosponge that infects all species of hard corals in shallow reefs, overgrowing and killing them via nutrient and space competition. Population dynamics of the sponge is limited; therefore, Arianna has started to monitor its progression rate, the affected species, the number of damaged colonies, and its overall level of threats to the corals.

While coral reefs are home to a greater percent of marine life and are highly valuable and critical to the ecosystem, the crucial role of Coral Regrowth project enables to restore and conserve denuded reefs, preserve endangered species, and provide a habitat for many oceanic species.

Stay tuned to know more about our Coral Rehabilitation and Conservation, and to find out more about the Coral Regrowth project, follow us on social media @cococaresmv.

Categories: Coco Cares