Coral Farming- An Initiative To Revive The Marine Ecosystem
What are coral reefs?
Coral reefs are massive underwater formations made up of the bones of colonial marine invertebrates. Because they extract calcium carbonate from saltwater to construct a hard, resilient exoskeleton that covers their soft, sac-like bodies, coral species that build reefs are known as hermatypic, or "hard," corals. "Soft" corals are other types of coral that aren't involved in reef construction.
A polyp is a name given to each individual coral. Coral polyps feed on their parents' calcium carbonate exoskeletons, adding their own to the current coral structure. Coral reefs provide food, shelter, and breeding for around 25% of all known marine species. Coral reefs are the principal habitat for over 4,000 species of fish, 700 kinds of coral, and hundreds of other plants and animals, and are sometimes called to as "the rainforests of the sea" because of their biodiversity.
What is coral farming?
Coral farming is a method of carefully cultivating coral fragments and releasing mature coral back into their natural habitat, which has been shown to improve the health of reef communities.
Like an underwater garden, most coral farms construct nurseries on shallow ocean floors with lots of sunlight exposure. Land-based holdings, which are more successful for large-scale restorative projects, have recently been introduced by several farms. The rate of natural coral formation can be boosted by up to 50 times using new farming techniques. Corals that once took decades to flourish are now able to do so in months.
How do they do it?
In a mid-water coral nursery, one-month-old survivors were put onto plastic pins and the trays were covered with fitting plastic nets to prevent predation and detachment. More than 89 percent of the corals had survived after four months.
The corals are then moved to sea-based floating nurseries. The corals are attached to a submerged structure and float in the water column. Some sources recommend a depth of 6 meters to guarantee that the corals get enough sunshine. They are attached to a man-made substrate. String, wire, mesh, monofilament line, or epoxy are commonly used. The colonies are kept there for 8 to 24 months until they are large enough to be transplanted back to the reef.
Importance of coral reefs-
Coral reefs provide important ecosystem services such as protecting coastlines from severe storms and minimizing erosion caused by wave energy. Coral reefs are the principal habitat for over 4,000 species of fish, 700 kinds of coral, and hundreds of other plants and animals, and are sometimes called to as "the rainforests of the sea" because of their biodiversity. Overall, coral farming is a fantastic way to stop the deterioration and extinction of the ocean's richest ecosystem.