[Coral-List] coral relocation

John McManus jmcmanus at rsmas.miami.edu
Tue Oct 1 12:18:42 EDT 2013

Here again, the confusion in terminology is partly at fault. This is not a
natural reef, but rather some piled-up stones transported from nearby hills
to build break-waters, that were settled by corals (hence the use of "reef"
in quotes by Dennis Hubbard). The background is that the developers tried a
number of artificial reef structures with limited success in the past, and
then noticed that corals were doing quite well on some of the enormous
breakwaters they had been building. Now, it looks like they have decided to
move one, along with its coral colonizers. This is drastically different
from trying to move or replace a natural coral reef with all of its
intricacies -- which cannot be done.

Imagine how far that $10 million could have gone toward protecting true
coral reefs!

Of course, we are not talking here about funds for conservation of a natural
ecosystem, but rather for an integral part of a commercial enterprise
designed to be highly profitable to its investors.



-----Original Message-----
From: coral-list-bounces at coral.aoml.noaa.gov
[mailto:coral-list-bounces at coral.aoml.noaa.gov] On Behalf Of
david at medio.fsnet.co.uk
Sent: Tuesday, October 01, 2013 6:35 AM
To: coral-list at coral.aoml.noaa.gov
Subject: [Coral-List] coral relocation

I have never - a priori - been in favour of coral relocation and artificial
reefs in general. They do in some cases allow for the few coral colonies
present in a particular setting to survive if moved elsewhere, e.g. Doha
Airport is an example. However, given it has become flavour of the month in
may offshore and coastal projects (those requiring infilling), we as
scientists should be very careful in endorsing the practice outright. It is
unlikely we can re-create the complex 3D fabric of a coral reef any time
soon, condoning the removal of a reef because it can moved elsewhere also
leads to ecosystem simplification; coral relocation also frequently means
moving a natural resource out of the reach of recreational users and, as in
the case of Dubai aquarium, encourages the likes of dolphinaria and similar
outdated and frequently cruel practices.

Dr David Medio
Marine Scientist and Manager
email: david at medio.fsnet.co.uk
Mobile: +44 7739190968
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