coral farms

Janet Ley janet.ley at
Fri Dec 6 21:03:16 EST 2002

Ruby & coralisters,
    There was a demonstration coral farm set up in the Philippines, and
small book has been written about it.  It seems to me that the growing =
should be good
enough that after first getting fragments from the wild, they don't have
keep taking more from the wild.  Because that would be a coral fishery =
disguise, not a coral farm.  One problem is that any transplanting =
has a proportion of colonies die.  Anyhow, the reference to the booklet
Heeger T, Sotto F  (2000)  Coral Farming: a tool for reef rehabilitation
community ecotourism.  German Ministry of Environment.  94 pages.
    CITIES doesn't forbid trade in corals, mainly because individual =
species are by and large not endangered (reefs are, not most coral =
species, at least not yet).  So for instance,
Indonesia exports hundreds of tons of corals per year for use in =
aquariums in
the US and Europe.  However, CITIES permits are required from the =
governments of both
exporting and importing countries.  The idea was to support governments
their attempts to control the trade and keep it from destroying reefs.
If coral farms work as they are intended, they should be able to not =
anything but starting stock from the reefs, and even produce corals to
re-plant damaged reefs with.  As to whether anyone has been able to do =
that may be an open question.
    An alternative for coral farming might be to put out objects such as
tiles or artificial reefs for coral larvae to settle on, then move them
to the farm.  This would
require no damage to existing corals and would add to the total living
corals, but would require more time and one could not pick which species
would settle.  A related strategy would be to harvest from the =
artificial reefs.  There is also the possiblity of using spawn slicks to
large numbers of larvae, if there is mass spawning and spawn slicks can
be found.
-Doug Fenner
Australian Institute of Marine Science
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