Divers from the Fujairah Adventure Centre are removing coral from reefs and building new artificial reefs off the east coast of the United Arab Emirates.
Freshly removed from the mother-reef, coral is cut into pieces and replanted to become the foundation of new artificial reefs aimed to regenerate the local marine ecosystem.
The team of divers helped by volunteers have been working relentlessly, planting more than 9,000 corals over about 600 square meters in the past year. Their goal is to cover 300,000 square meters with 1.5 million corals within five years.
According to Reuters, “Reefs, developing over thousands of years, are crucial to the survival of many marine species, while also acting as a barrier against waves that can help reduce erosion. Artificial reefs can help restore reefs that become a habitat for marine life and help combat coral bleaching and other degradation caused by climate change. But it could take 10-15 years until meaningful levels of coral begin to grow naturally on artificial reefs.”
Fujairah is one of the country’s most popular diving spots, and officials hope that the reef will help sustainable fisheries and eco-tourism.
Although the program is expected to take a considerable amount of time before it proves its effectiveness, the revived coral reef will increase biodiversity and become a safe haven for endangered species of the region.
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