Over the past few years our Coral Line Project nursery has flourished thanks to everyone’s efforts and contributions. While we were closed for refurbishment in 2019, we took advantage of the quiet time to develop our coral transplanting techniques.
It took a few trials and we faced some challenges. The biggest one being predation. We are trying to plant our grown colonies onto reefs that heavily suffered from the 2016 bleaching event. The lack of other coral presence means that our colonies were an easy snack for predators such as crown of thorns or drupella snails.
However, we have now found a suitable location in our lagoon where our transplants are doing well and showing signs of attachment to the reef. The location and method was inspired by an accidental transplant when we had to relocate a very heavy line from our nursery to a small bommie. The colonies on the line starting attaching to the rocks and thus transplanted itself! We emulated this on a nearby reef bommie and have successfully transplanted nine of our research lines. Each line is transplanted in clusters close to each other so that there is “strength in numbers” and individual colonies aren’t isolated and prone to completely being eaten by predators such as triggerfish or butterflyfish.
Fish live is flourishing around our a transplanted corals
After months of monitoring and observing signs of attachment we are pleased that the transplants are attaching well, and we will be starting to transplant our mature donor lines. If you have made a line with us, you might be receiving an email regarding your line being transplanted if it is one of our older and more mature lines.
The next time you are staying with us at Gili Lankanfushi, you can snorkel out to our transplanting site and have a look for yourself to see the new reef that is teeming with fish that have already started to call the new coral transplants and the surrounded area home.