Dive tour operators in Australia have been assisting with the of planting coral along the Great Barrier Reef.
Family-owned Cairns-based company Passions of Paradise have provided a catamaran and fuel to take four crew members and a scientist to Hastings Reef for the Coral Nurture Program. They are working alongside a team from the University of Technology Sydney, led by Dr David Suggett, who is conducting reef resilience research.
Passions of Paradise is one of five Cairns and Port Douglas reef companies participating in the Coral Nurture Program, with Wavelength, Ocean Freedom, Sailaway and Quicksilver Cruises also involved. The program has been running since 2019.
Six frames have been installed at Hastings Reef which can be used as a nursery to grow more corals. Around 1000 pieces of coral have been planted on Hastings Reef to date.
The collaboration is the first time on the Great Barrier Reef that tourism operators have worked alongside researchers and the first time that a coral clip has been used to attach corals to the reef.
Coral clipping involves finding fragments of opportunity – coral fragments that have naturally broken off – and attaching them back on to the reef using a coral clip.
It is expected that the tour operators will continue to operate the nurseries and outplant the corals once the 12-month program ends.
Image Credit: Passions of Paradise/TEQ-Andrew-Watson
Rosa Medea is Life & Soul Magazine’s Chief. She writes about lifestyle including sustainable and green living. She also offers content services to businesses and individuals at Rosamedea.com