Aquariums save reefs

Michaël RARD rard at
Wed Dec 6 03:29:51 EST 2000

Dear corallist members,

Since some weeks, a lot of people talk about the use of aquariums to save the reef.

OK, but I want to say my point of view.

To do my thesis experiments, I use and make in situ live coral nubbins of branched (Acropora muricata) and semimassive (Montipora circumvallata) corals.
I paste and fixe them in the reef and tranfert them in all different sites on different reefs where I want....with 100% of survival.

My only problem in Reunion Island is that our reefs are too small (smaller than 500m broad), and induce a high frequentation of people (fishermen, tourists....).
And sometimes (preferencially in hot seasons...and during very low tides), I could have big losts of nubbins by human destruction (fins, or feet or excavations to catch molluscs...). But if the nubbins are secured, no problems can append.

With my small experience, I think that we can use this nubbins system to save degraded sites.
First, the best healthly sites (where the coral growth appears to be the highest) must be found. Then, the system of nubbins generate in some months or years (depending on the growth rate of the cultivated species) a lot of new coral individues in the healthly site, and after that they can be transfered in degraded reefs.

It can be a good and "natural" solution to save the reef, isn't it ?

Have a nice day.
Cheers, Michaël
                             Michaël RARD
Station Marine d'Endoume, Centre d'Océanologie de Marseille
             UMR CNRS 6540, Equipe DIMAR

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