[Coral-List] News coral reef restoration Seychelles

Peter Sale sale at uwindsor.ca
Thu Apr 10 15:22:41 EDT 2014

Hi Sarah and listers,
Without in any way detracting from the sincere and significant effort Dr. 
Frias-Torres and her colleagues are putting in on this Seychelles project, 
I think one paragraph from the news article she pointed us to is telling:
"While cultivating more resilient reefs is an important tactic for 
mitigating the existing impacts of climate change on marine ecosystems, it 
will not be an effective long-term solution. As long as energy production 
continues to release carbon dioxide into the atmosphere at a record pace, 
oceans will continue to suffer.  Between 30 and 40 percent of CO2 released 
into the atmosphere makes its way into surface water, including rivers, 
lakes, and—of course—oceans"

I am concerned that a number of projects are now getting significant 
funding, and using considerable technical expertise and field effort to 
establish coral nurseries, and plant out small colonies.  In most cases, 
the 'selection of resistant corals' seems to come down to growing those 
that survive in the nursery, and while there is lots of good news about 
how well the corals do in the nursery there is little evidence of 
long-term success once planted out.  If the factors responsible for 
decline of coral communities are not dealt with, it is unlikely that coral 
nurseries will make a significant dent in a downward trajectory for reefs 
in that location.  Spending scarce conservation dollars on coral nurseries 
may not be much more effective than spending them to create more paper 
MPAs.  Neither approach solves the problem it is trying to address.

I hope, for the sake of the Seychelles, that the corals being cultivated 
are particularly resistant to warming/acidification.  I also hope we do 
not lose sight of the need to address CO2 emissions directly.

Peter Sale

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