A new project starts: in coral nurseries, resilient corals grow to restore the damaged reefs in the Caribbean.
Photo on the right: Hogfish (Lachnolaimus maximus) takes shelter in the new coral (© Erik Meesters)
Coral reefs are among the most threatened ecosystems on earth. At the same time they are among the most diverse ecosystems providing income to millions of people.
Coral reef restoration with resilient species
In this project, coral fragments are grown and used for restoring damaged reefs. Restoration efforts will be accompanied by monitoring of resilience using state-of-the-art genomic techniques. Raising and outplanting new coral colonies of fast growing and relatively robust coral species will allow new coral reef habitat to be created. In this manner the project will provide new living space for fish and invertebrates and provide sustainable income for local communities.
This EU-project RESCQ (Restoration of Ecosystem Services and Coral Reef Quality) has a budget of 400.000 euro and will last 3 years. The project is co-funded by the Dutch Ministry of Economic Affairs. Coral nurseries will be set up on Saba, Sint Maarten, Sint Eustatius and the Turks and Caicos Islands.