These Before and After Photos of Coral Reef Restoration Are Eye Opening
by Ashley Dreiling
Nearly 70 years of dynamite fishing has almost completely destroyed the coral reef off Hatamin Island, Indonesia.
However, thanks to the non-profit group Coral Guardian and years of creative transplant “nurseries,” the coral is coming back to life and restoring the area’s vibrant ecosystem.
Dynamite fishing, also called blast fishing, fish bombing, and grenade fishing is a mass fishing practice using explosives to stun or k**l schools of fish. It makes for easy fish collection, but ravages the environment, animals, and ecosystems in its wake, and was banned in 2015.
For years, the team at Coral Guardian has fought to reverse this damage by transplanting healthy sections of recovered corals onto solid metallic structures. These “nurseries” allow the best possible conditions to revive the coral reef.
“As a result of this work over a few years, the team is now collecting fragments from well-grown corals (some corals measure about 40 centimeters) for new coral transplants, Coral Guardian told IFLScience.
“This also allows the development of corals that may be more resistant to certain stressors such as climate change, having already gone through a first stress with the fragmentation.”
The before and after pictures are really amazing to behold.
The team has restored more than 53,000 corals, helping to return native species such as blacktip sharks, yellow-lipped sea kraits, green turtles, blue whales, and manatees that assist in restoring the ecosystem.
Coral Guardian’s work is crucial for involving local communities and focusing on tangible benefits to the environment that fight climate change and maintain a healthy fishing economy.
Tags: · blacktip sharks, blast fishing, blue whales, climate, coral, Coral Guardian, coral reefs, dynamite fishing, ecosystems, environment, fish bombing, green turtles, grenade fishing, Hatamin Island, IFLScience, indonesia, manatees, reefs, restoration, top, transplants, yellow-lipped sea kraits