[Coral-List] Artificial reef - cement or metallic /w electrical stimulation?

Simon bossagypsy at gmail.com
Sat Jul 8 05:59:15 EDT 2017

Hi Philippe

It definitely looks really exciting. I was interested in studying this for
my master's thesis . The wikipedia page has this under "Biorock" ,
crediting both Goreau and Hilbertz . ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Biorock

My only concern at the time was that the process is patented. I wasn't sure
if this would create restrictions on my research, and general future
research and implementations (such as the work Walt describes above)

Does anyone have any further knowledge about this, or am I being overly

All the best

On Thu, Jul 6, 2017 at 8:29 PM, Walt Smith <walt at waltsmith.com> wrote:

> Bula Philippe,
> I met Tom Goreau in (about) 2005 and he was interested in our work on coral
> farming in Fiji that we had been doing since 1998. He visited our farms and
> had a talk with my manager, at the time, and convinced him that we needed
> to
> try his experiment on several of our racks (that were made from rebar) and
> judge the results. I was in the States at that time but we managed to meet
> face to face at LAX when I was on my way back to Fiji and he was arriving.
> We crossed paths at the airport and the talks were so interesting I almost
> missed my plane.
> Anyway, we eagerly set up a battery charger on the beach at one of the
> resorts we had an ecotourism installation. At this resort (Hideaway) the
> tourist could walk out and view the coral farms and chose a piece of coral
> to plant in the "Coral Garden" next to the farm.
> The cables that ran from the beach to the racks were several hundred meters
> long and started from dry land to protect the charger from weather and ran
> across the beach and across the reef flat to the racks. Despite the fact
> that it was a slight hazard (tripping over cables) we did notice a slight
> difference between the racks connected to the charge and those that were
> not. What we noticed was some calcification build up on the rebar closest
> to
> the connection point but no significant difference in coral growth from one
> rack to the other. We ran the experiment for about 2 years and although
> there was something definitely going on with calcium build up I could not
> actually see the corals benefiting from the available electrical current
> compared to those without it.
> It all makes perfect sense, electrical current attracting calcium which
> corals need to build on, and perhaps I needed to make some adjustments to
> my
> test but my observations hold true to my account above.
> Today we continue to successfully grow coral at a huge rate (we have 9 farm
> sites with over 60,000+ pieces growing) and have been able to identify the
> quickest growing species along with some surprises on some species we did
> not expect to do as well as they did.
> We no longer use the electrical currents but I also would like to know if
> someone else has had a similar experience or better success with this
> method. Dr. Goreau certainly is enthusiastic about his method and in my
> view
> anything that keeps people thinking of new and positive methods to increase
> the state of our coral reefs and learn more is always a step in the right
> direction.
> Regards,
> Walt Smith
> www.adeproject.org
> -----Original Message-----
> From: coral-list-bounces at coral.aoml.noaa.gov
> [mailto:coral-list-bounces at coral.aoml.noaa.gov] On Behalf Of Philippe
> Sanchez
> Sent: Thursday, July 6, 2017 11:24 PM
> To: coral-list at coral.aoml.noaa.gov
> Subject: [Coral-List] Artificial reef - cement or metallic /w electrical
> stimulation?
> Hi all,
> I've been looking at some artificial reef projects, specifically in the
> UAE.
> Reef balls seem to be quite popular. A friend recently told me about
> increasing growth and survival rate by applying a small electrical current
> (I'd never heard of this before). I read the paper (Goreau, T.J. 2014) and
> it seems very promising. I wondered why this wasn't more well known??
> Perhaps it's too expensive for people to set up?
> Does anyone here have any experience working with such a project or can
> give
> some insight on the pros and cons of this innovative method?
> Thanks!
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