On the 16th of September, our team went to the CRIOBE/IRCP (Center of Insular Research and Observatory of the Environment / Institute for Coral Reefs in the Pacific) for a workshop on a coral transplantation method. We began with a lecture on coral reefs’ biology and ecology by Laetita Hédouin, a researcher specialized in coral’s early life stages. Then, we continued the workshop with Antoine Puisay, a PhD student working on coral reefs, who showed us how to make a coral transplantation.The method for coral transplantation is quite simple : it consists of fixing a coral fragment on a grid that we set up directly in the lagoon. The coral will start developping, and once it’s big enough, we can reintroduce it in damaged coral reef areas. These locations have to be selected carefully to ensure the coral transplantation’s success.
We must look for an area that has, or used to have, healthy coral reefs and where water quality is good enough to allow the coral transplant to develop. The team followed this workshop for an upcoming project as part of our pedagogical programs which aims to teach children about coral growth, its fragility the necessity for its protection. We are planning to include a coral transplantation activity where each child will build his own little coral transplant using damaged or unused coral pieces. The organisation will send updates to classes on the coral reefs development, and year after year kids will have the opportunity to see their own coral grow, until we reintroduce them in a damaged area.
This project aims to give more hands-on experience on conservation methods to children and allows them to get involve in marine wildlife protection.