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Coral Reef Nursery
Project

Since 2014, Caribbean Reef Buddy has maintained a thriving underwater coral nursery at Jack-A-Dan Island, just outside of the MPA. We have focused our efforts on growing Staghorn coral (Acropora cervicornis) on trees, ropes and frames, as well as Elkhorn coral (Acropora palmata) on tables.

Elkhorn – the drama queens of the coral world!

Acropora palmata is classed as critically endangered by the IUCN Red List, as less than 3% of its original population density remains today. It is a very shallow growing coral, often at depths between 3 and 5 meters. This allows it to absorb more sunlight, but means that it is often subject to extreme temperature changes throughout the year, wave action, surges, which naturally cause fragments of coral to break off. This is where we come in!

We go on ‘Fragment of Opportunity’ dives, searching for broken pieces of elkhorn to bring back to the nursery and fix to tiles on tables using putty. These fragments are then cleaned and monitored for the next 9 to 12 months until they have grown bigger and are ready to be out-planted.

Although these beauties are easily stressed, we have very successful outplant sites all over Carriacou! Come and see them for yourself!

STAGHORN - solid building block

Acropora cervicornis is a very fast-growing coral, with growth rates of up to 2 inches per year, making it a very suitable and successful coral for our nursery. Although all wild colonies were lost to disease many years ago, we are slowly repopulating the reefs!

Branches can break from parent colonies through surge action, waves and physical disturbance, and is a natural form of asexual reproduction. We fast-track this process by cutting off small branches of large fragments on our nursery to repopulate our coral trees and lines. These are then monitored and cleaned (like Elkhorns) before out-planting on the reef when they get to a suitable size.

  • Why we do this

    Hard corals lay down the foundation of the reef and provide hygiene, food and protection, directly for over 25% of the world’s fish species and literally countless other marine animals. By increasing the number of corals growing on the reef, the number of organisms that can benefit from their existence also increases, elevating the health of the reef ecosystem. Also, by increasing the number of breeding corals, the possibility exists that new genetically diverse offspring will be resilient to the tough conditions in which corals must exist today.
  • JOIN US

    Enquire today at info@caribbeanreefbuddy

    Come and be part of our coral restoration team!

    Learn to scuba dive in the Caribbean!
    Become a marine conservationist and Reef Buddy!
    Make a positive environmental impact!
  • Your Part

    Cleaning – Keeping the coral fragments and frames free from algae and predatory worms/molluscs
    Diving – Searching various dive sites for fragments of elkhorn to add to the nursery
    Monitoring – Measuring fragments to determine growth rates, and monitoring for signs of disease.
    Out-planting – Choosing suitable outplant sites and fixing fragments back onto the reef.

Elkhorn – the drama queens of the coral world!

Acropora palmata is classed as critically endangered by the IUCN Red List, as less than 3% of its original population density remains today. It is a very shallow growing coral, often at depths between 3 and 5 meters. This allows it to absorb more sunlight, but means that it is often subject to extreme temperature changes throughout the year, wave action, surges, which naturally cause fragments of coral to break off. This is where we come in!

We go on ‘Fragment of Opportunity’ dives, searching for broken pieces of elkhorn to bring back to the nursery and fix to tiles on tables using putty. These fragments are then cleaned and monitored for the next 9 to 12 months until they have grown bigger and are ready to be out-planted.

Although these beauties are easily stressed, we have very successful outplant sites all over Carriacou! Come and see them for yourself!

Staghorn - solid building block

Acropora palmata is classed as critically endangered by the IUCN Red List, as less than 3% of its original population density remains today. It is a very shallow growing coral, often at depths between 3 and 5 meters. This allows it to absorb more sunlight, but means that it is often subject to extreme temperature changes throughout the year, wave action, surges, which naturally cause fragments of coral to break off. This is where we come in!

We go on ‘Fragment of Opportunity’ dives, searching for broken pieces of elkhorn to bring back to the nursery and fix to tiles on tables using putty. These fragments are then cleaned and monitored for the next 9 to 12 months until they have grown bigger and are ready to be out-planted.

Although these beauties are easily stressed, we have very successful outplant sites all over Carriacou! Come and see them for yourself!

Why we do this

Acropora palmata is classed as critically endangered by the IUCN Red List, as less than 3% of its original population density remains today. It is a very shallow growing coral, often at depths between 3 and 5 meters. This allows it to absorb more sunlight, but means that it is often subject to extreme temperature changes throughout the year, wave action, surges, which naturally cause fragments of coral to break off. This is where we come in!

We go on ‘Fragment of Opportunity’ dives, searching for broken pieces of elkhorn to bring back to the nursery and fix to tiles on tables using putty. These fragments are then cleaned and monitored for the next 9 to 12 months until they have grown bigger and are ready to be out-planted.

Although these beauties are easily stressed, we have very successful outplant sites all over Carriacou! Come and see them for yourself!

JOIN US

Enquire today at info@caribbeanreefbuddy

Come and be part of our coral restoration team!
Learn to scuba dive in the Caribbean!
Become a marine conservationist and Reef Buddy!
Make a positive environmental impact!