Usually, reef managers start with simple coral gardening – fixing the issues they see while diving or visiting the reef. Coral Gardening broadly refers to the process of wild coral husbandry, such as securing broken corals, removing debris, clearing biofoulers, and doing other actions to improve the growth or survival of the corals in the area.
The 3-step coral restoration system is a more advanced form of what is known as coral gardening. With the 3 step system, we are adding a nursery phase to increase success in areas that require greater biological and structural restoration efforts. This involves three phases of action; (1) collecting a feedstock of corals, (2) rehabilitating and rearing fragments to maturity, and (3) transplanting to natural or artificial reef structures.
Over the next several topics, we will provide an overview of this system and cover the considerations, keeping in mind that our aim is to maximize the chances of long-term success.