[Coral-List] News coral reef restoration Seychelles (Peter Sale) Coral-List Digest, Vol 68, Issue 9

Rob Hilliard, imco rhilliard at imco.com.au
Fri Apr 11 15:31:10 EDT 2014

I agree, Peter, that any international, NGO or national govt/tax-payer 
funding for a coral nursery project needs to look very carefully at the 
long term goals and the social / commercial and scientific / management 
benefits of coral cultivation,  whether by collection of local, natural 
nubbins or from breaking up corals taken locally or further afield...

In many coral tourism and coral aquaculture areas, including the 
Maldives, Thailand, Indonesia, Philippines and some Pacific Island 
States, etc, there are many sound commercial reasons why resort 
companies and other commercial ventures should and do support local 
coral nursery and plant-out projects, and personally I support this type 
activity - not only by improving their well-trodden/highly snorkelled  
'house reefs' etc but also because of the various local community and 
visitor spin-offs, including improved awareness and understanding of the 
importance of coral reefs and their sensitivity to unsustainable 
exploitation and climate change impacts.

But if substantial public-sector funding is involved, then the 
science-based objectives and methods of such project/s need to be fully 
clarified and identified, to ensure the results are robust, meaningful 
and useful, and can be peer-reviewed and published for all coral reef 
managers to benefit from.  There is potential for such projects because 
virtually all resort and aquaculture companies are unwilling to 
persevere with any 'non-weedy' species that has a low survival under the 
locally-adopted cultivation method, and/or low growth during this and 
the subsequent 'grow-out' phases (especially after final relocation of 
new colonies to local reef sites).  Site characteristics and site 
selection - both for the nursery and the final 'grow-out' area/s - are 
also just as critical as the particular methods employed.

I've no specific information regarding the Seychelles project, but 
hopefully Sarah's team are committed to publishing all methods and 
procedures they are using and why, and what species at the Seychelles 
did the best and worst under their methods, including the rates and 
causes for their observed partial or complete mortalities of nubbins and 
juvenile colonies.


Robert Hilliard PhD Pg.Dip (EMS)
InterMarine Consulting Pty Ltd
19 Burton Road, Darlington
Western Australia6070
Mob:+61 427 855 485
Office: +61 8 6394 0606
Fax:+61 8 9255 4668
*rhilliard at imco.com.au <mailto:rhilliard at imco.com.au>*
*P**lease consider our environment before printing this e-mail*
To download the latest _Marine Pest Vessel Management Guidelines_ of the 
WA Department of Fisheries (_24^th January 2014_), go to:


Message: 2
Date: Thu, 10 Apr 2014 15:22:41 -0400
From: Peter Sale<sale at uwindsor.ca>
Subject: Re: [Coral-List] News coral reef restoration Seychelles
To:coral-list at coral.aoml.noaa.gov
	<OF3CE397B7.FC8E920E-ON85257CB6.006924DF-85257CB6.006A736C at uwindsor.ca>
Content-Type: text/plain; charset="UTF-8"

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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