Mankind and shores – Area 12 : The coral jungle

Colourful and living corals are small creatures which are essential to the preservation of marine biodiversity.

Their presence is vital because as well as providing food to some species, coral reefs are also used as habitat. Useful to Man for the development of tourism and fishing, they are present in tropical regions, and often come under a lot of pressure from human activities. Corals are now endangered.

 

The phenomenon of bleaching, which is characterised by fading and can lead to death, is becoming increasingly common. In certain areas of the Maldives, over 90% of corals have died. Yet these islands depend on reefs, especially to protect their coasts from erosion.

 

To tackle this phenomenon, the Reefscapers programme has been created in order to replant colonies using fragging techniques. This method of multiplying living creatures is similar to cloning. In the Reefscapers programme, corals are attached to submerged structures in order to restore stocks. The colonies grow until they cover the structure. This technique is also used at Nausicaá, which works to preserve endangered reefs.

 

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