The project: Marine Center - Universitas Pattimura, Ambon, Indonesia
A lot of coral rubble is laying around the area. Coral rubble is a great substrate for CCA (crustose coralline algae) and for coral larvae. However, as the rubble keeps moving around anything that settles on it dies.
Solutions: fixating coral rubble and thereby create an artificial reef
By fixating loose coral rubble, new substrate becomes available for CCA and coral larvae to settle on. This can be done with fishing nets or iron nets. With the BESE-mesh biopolymer a biodegradable alternative is available.
In November a BESE-mesh was already filled with rubble. This was done while snorkeling and the results showed coral growing over the BESE-mesh and fish hiding. So, a follow up pilot was set-up.
Design: BESE-mesh filled with coral rubble stacked underwater.
On the beach BESE-mesh sleeves were filled with coral rubble and a knot was tied to close the sleeves. The mesh, with coral rubble was transported to the underwater pilot location, where they were dropped in. Subsequently four divers moved them to the designated location. Once stacked, corals of opportunity (life corals that broke off by forces of nature) were gathered, and added to the stacked BESE-mesh piles.
Also, rubble coated with BESE-reef paste was placed in BESE-mesh bags and placed in front of the stacked BESE-mesh with rubble. BESE-reef paste may enhance coral larvae settlement.
Three months later the corals of opportunity still look healthy, and fish were spotted hiding in the artificial reef of stacked BESE-mesh with rubble.
More results will follow.
Special thanks to Pattimura University and Prandito Simanjuntak.