[Coral-List] Biofouling of Coral Nurseries

Austin Bowden-Kerby abowdenkerby at gmail.com
Tue Sep 29 16:13:00 EDT 2015

Regarding Sarah Frias-Torres' post:

We have learned from multiple sites in multiple countries over multiple
years that well-situated coral nurseries do not require maintenance for

We are consistently using simple metal bar structures with corals suspended
from ropes, and for these types of nurseries juvenile and adult fish clean
the ropes and bars of algae, hydroids, etc., saving much time and money.  I
describe these methods and conditions in the recently released handbook:
Best Practices Manual for Caribbean Acropora Restoration, which I have
recently put on Researchgate.net

I summary, we recommend that rope nurseries be located in shallow waters
(2-4M deep) on sand or rubble, if possible behind reef structures that
offer protection from prevailing storm waves.  The critical factor is
placement within 1-2 meters of good juvenile fish habitat (sea grass or
branching coral colonies), or if further away (or in hindsight) to create
bridges of good shelter habitat to enable the fish to cross into the
nursery.  Juvenile fish will not cross expanses of barren sand, but then
neither do most coral predators, so a bit of gap is quite important.

Bowden-Kerby, A. 2014.  Best Practices Manual for Caribbean Acropora
Restoration. Punta Cana Ecological Foundation, 40pp.

The work was Funded by the InterAmerican Development Bank.


Austin Bowden-Kerby, PhD
Corals for Conservation
P.O. Box 4649 Samabula, Fiji Islands

Sustainable Environmental Livelihoods Farm
Km 20 Sigatoka Valley Road, Fiji Islands
(679) 938-6437

Message: 2
Date: Tue, 29 Sep 2015 02:29:54 -0400
From: Sarah Frias-Torres <sfrias_torres at hotmail.com>
Subject: [Coral-List] Reef fishes reduce biofouling cleaning time in
        coral   nurseries
To: coral list <coral-list at coral.aoml.noaa.gov>
Message-ID: <SNT148-W27A8A7ADC298D796F453AA814E0 at phx.gbl>
Content-Type: text/plain; charset="Windows-1252"

Dear all,
Our first peer-reviewed article on the large scale coral reef restoration
project I lead in Seychelles was born today.
I would like to draw your attention to our recent article in African
Journal of Marine Science:
Reef fishes recruited at midwater coral nurseries consume biofouling and
reduce cleaning time in Seychelles, Indian Ocean
In coral reef restoration, coral gardening involves rearing coral fragments
in underwater nurseries prior totransplantation. These nurseries become
fish-aggregating devices and attract biofouling. We hypothesisedthat: (1)
the presence of corals at a nursery is critical to recruit fish assemblages
and (2) the recruited fishassemblages control biofouling, reducing
person-hours invested in nursery cleaning. Three midwater coralnurseries
were deployed at 8 m depth for 27 months within the marine protected area
of Cousin Island SpecialReserve, Seychelles, Indian Ocean. Each nursery
consisted of a 6 m ? 6 m PVC pipe frame, layered with a recycled5.5-cm-mesh
tuna net. Human cleaning effort was calculated based on daily dive logs.
Nursery-associated fishassemblages and behaviour were video-recorded prior
to harvesting corals after a 20-month growth period andseven months
post-coral harvesting. The density (ind. m?2) of blue-yellow damselfish
Pomacentrus caeruleus was12?16 times highe
 r when corals were present than when corals were absent at the nurseries.
Fish assemblagesrecruited into the nurseries included three trophic levels,
from herbivores to omnivores, in six families: Ephippidae,Pomacentridae,
Labridae (Scarinae), Gobiidae, Siganidae and Monacanthidae. Higher
abundance of large fish (totalnumber of individuals) resulted in 2.75 times
less person-hours spent in nursery cleaning. These results haveimportant
implications for cost-effective coral reef restoration.
Authors: Sarah Frias-Torres, Henry Goehlich, Claude Reveret, Phanor H
Montoya-MayaInstitutions: Nature Seychelles, Republic of Seychelles,
Smithsonian Marine Station, USA, University of Rostock, Germany, CREOCEAN,
Full pdf accesshttp://
VideosHumphead parrotfish encounterhttps://
Fish at midwater coral nurserieshttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I3XgSqe4d3M

Sarah Frias-Torres, Ph.D. Twitter: @GrouperDocBlog: http:/

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