Although coral reefs occupy less than 1% of the ocean floor, they are home to more than 25% of all marine life: 4,000 species of fish, 700 species of coral and over a million other plants and animals. Reefs need this biodiversity to remain resilient to changing environmental conditions and climate change.
Creating the largest coral community in the world
Together with local partners and clients, Ocean Health enhances and restores coral reef ecosystems worldwide. We relocate corals from degrading areas to safe environments with favourable conditions and boost coral regeneration by breeding corals and outplacing them in existing reefs. We use the ReefGuard, a mobile aquaculture laboratory that facilitates the production of new recruits, and the Coral Engine, an underwater nursery where the new recruits and coral fragments grow into full-fledged colonies before being permanently placed at the reefs. This approach is very effective for restoring degraded reefs that have favourable growth conditions, but a limited natural supply of coral recruits.
Our coral propagation and replacement activities do not only boost biodiversity near (degraded) reefs, but provide coastal protection and boost local eco-tourism as well.
By partnering up with research institutes, governments and the private sector, we aim for large-scale coral restoration, striving to create the largest coral community in the world!
The value of coral ecosystems
Healthy coral reefs are vital for the existence of local communities. They provide food and medicine to tens of millions of people per day, offer coastal protection, and bring high economic value by generating local jobs in fisheries and (eco) tourism.
Coral reefs act as a natural breakwater by absorbing wave energy, offering protection against flooding and erosion as well as storms and extreme waves. Coral reefs provide direct protection for shorelines and the inhabitants of the often densely populated hinterland.
Coral reefs around the world
We have piloted our coral restoration and enhancement activities in various geographic areas, among which the Great Barrier Reef and Bahamian reefs, in collaboration with marine research institutes, universities and local governments. Our pilots focus on coral relocation and coral rehabilitation. In rehabilitating corals, we breed them using the ReefGuard, after which they grow further in the Coral Engine. When mature enough, our divers outplace them in existing reefs or in other suitable locations. The corals are carefully monitored afterwards to map their health and survival rate.
During the pilots, we look for the most successful methods for breeding, covering the whole process from coral spawning to larvae settlement, nursery design and outplacement of coral fragments.