A lot can happen in seven years. Image credit: Coral Guardian / Martin Colognoli & Murdianto / Coco Tamlyn

Environment Indonesia4. January 2023

Restoration Success: Coral Reefs Come Back to Life

Following seven years of restoration efforts, large coral reefs were reestablished off the coast of Hatamin Island in Indonesia, thanks to the use of a technique meant to stabilize the coral fragments while they grow and come back to life.

“Without corals, there are no more reefs and without reefs, we would lose over a quarter of all marine biodiversity,” explains the French non-profit Coral Guardian which helped the establishment of a marine protected area of 1.2 hectare for corals to thrive.

Following the ban on dynamite fishing – a technique that stuns fish with explosives to easily scoop them up – in 2015, coral reefs were in need of repair. The devastating fishing method is known to disrupt food chains, destabilize ecosystems, and have a catastrophic effect on the environment. Solid metallic structures called ‘nurseries’ have been implemented to transplant fragments from well-grown corals – some up to 40 cm – and after seven years, more than 53,000 corals were restored. Thanks to this very effective technique, five times more fish species – including blacktip sharks (Carcharhinus limbatus), yellow-lipped sea kraits (Laticauda colubrina), manatees (Trichechus spp.), green turtles (Chelonia mydas), and blue whales (Balaenoptera musculus) – came back to the region.


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