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Can Coral Nurseries Bring Reefs Back from the Brink? [Slide Show]

A growing group of scientists is attempting to save coral reefs by cultivating them

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PATCH OF ORANGE IN A SEA OF BLUE:

A researcher checks on a coral nursery in Zanzibar.....[ More ]

TENDING THE NURSERY:

Miguel Angel-Garcia from the Veracruz Aquarium takes photos of the corals in the aquarium. Later, he can run them through a special program that will analyze their health.....[ More ]

FLOURISHING CLONES:

If not removed quickly enough, corals can quickly colonize an entire nursery. Because they are clones of one another, that means they can even fuse into one colony.....[ More ]

BACK TO THE WILD:

"Replanting" corals involves drilling into rock or dead reef. Whereas most have flourished, at least one of the replaced corals was later stolen by black market collectors.....[ More ]

REGROWTH:

Nava shows off a growing colony of elkhorn coral, while Miguel Angel-Garcia from the Veracruz Aquarium looks on.....[ More ]

DEDICATED LOCALS:

Nava and Miguel Roman Vives [ foreground ] founded Oceanus, which created Mexico's first coral nursery in 2007. Many say that buy-in from local communities for coral nurseries is crucial to their ongoing success.....[ More ]

LONELY PIONEER:

A solitary Acropora colony stands with Veracruz in the background. Pollution and development are the main factors driving the rapid disappearance of reefs in the region.....[ More ]

CORAL WASTELAND

Dead coral surrounding a beacon meant to warn ships off of the reef in Veracruz.....[ More ]

TIED TO THE NURSERY:

Gaby Nava of the NGO Oceanus describes how the coral fragments are placed in a plastic socket on the nursery to grow. The group has also experimented with reused soda bottles.....[ More ]

REEFS HIT HARD:

The city of Veracruz as seen from a hulking shipwreck from the 1990s. Neither the U.S. nor Mexico has any laws requiring negligent shipping companies to replace reefs destroyed by ship strikes.....[ More ]

ROCK CANDY:

Baruch Rinkevich and many other aquaculturists have begun favoring "rope nurseries" that grow quickly without interference from sediment or ground-based pests and can easily be pulled out.....[ More ]

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