18 November 2008

Artificial reef restoration in Japan

Japan is making a second attempt to artificially restore a reef within 10 years by planting 6,000 baby corals.
The attempt is the world's only large-scale project to restore a coral reef artificially, rather than trying to clean the environment for corals or nipping off branches of living corals for transplanting elsewhere.

If experiments are successful, the Japanese team wants to try the method in other countries. Preparations in Indonesia have already being made.

Scientists try to revive Japan's biggest coral reef
AFP 16 Nov 08;
TOKYO (AFP) — Scientists are in an unprecedented project to restore Japan's largest coral reef by planting thousands of baby corals growing on tiny ceramic beds.

Corals in Sekisei Lagoon stretching between the Okinawan islands of Ishigaki and Iriomote have plunged by 80 percent over the past two decades due to rising water temperatures and damage by coral-eating starfish.

"No projects in the world have ever restored a coral reef artificially... but we aim to restore the lagoon in some 10 years," said Mineo Okamoto, associate professor at the Tokyo University of Marine Science and Technology.
The isles of Okinotori, 1,700km south of Tokyo
In a joint project with Japan's environment ministry, scientists will plant some 6,000 baby corals in the seabed in December over a 600 square-metre (6,450 square-foot) district.

The corals are 18 months old and grow on round ceramic beds that measure four centimetres (1.6 inches) in diameter and have single legs for planting.

It follows the implantation of 5,300 baby corals in 2006. Only one-third of them have survived, with many dying off or damaged by dead and collapsed corals stirred up in the sea by typhoons, Okamoto said.

"We have learned lessons from the previous planting regarding what are the best places to plant and other conditions for survival. We'll make a fresh try," he said.

The attempt is the world's only large-scale project to restore a coral reef artificially, rather than trying to clean the environment for corals or nipping off branches of living corals for transplanting elsewhere, Okamoto said.

If experiments are successful, the Japanese team wants to try the method in other countries, Okamoto said, adding preparations in Indonesia have already being made.

"Corals are marine creatures but are functioning like seaweed in southern seas as they engage in photosynthesis to disperse oxygen," Okamoto noted.

"They invite plankton and then plankton-feeding fish, creating an ecosystem and fishing ground," he said.

Related articles

3 comments:

  1. So .... if elevated water temperature and coral eating starfish are the problems, and they are not resolved, how will the planted corals withstand the effects?

    ReplyDelete
  2. That's a good point Jeff :-)

    Well, this is the second time they are doing it. Hopefully they'll learn more and are more successful?

    ReplyDelete
  3. Hi from Turkey, from the Scientist Junior..
    Ozarupu...

    not hopefully.. since they did know and learn from the nature very well, they do these activities for preventing the global warming and protect the marine life !

    they already know, what u talkin about by saying 'hopefully' take this notice from me.
    The Japanese people dont speak much. they work. notice this..


    Ozarupu

    ReplyDelete

LinkWithin

Related Posts with Thumbnails