Coral Propagation Program

This information was gathered and published by MESYM from this source.

Introduction

Ocean Quest’s Coral Propagation Program is specifically designed to fulfill the need for conservation activity in local communities along the coastline and islands of Peninsular Malaysia. This is truly a comprehensive program that help shape the foundation of coral reef conservation among all Malaysian. This program allows participation of everyone regardless if they are divers or non-divers. Propagating corals can be a way for future income making for the coastal communities which are directly dependent on the sea. This program is also introduced to bring awareness to the local communities about sustainability.

Goals of Coral Propagation Program

The goal of this program is to connect local community in conservation that carries long term economic impact. Among the objectives that can associate with this program are:

  • To help rehabilitate reefs that was destroyed by a natural disaster (Storm, elevated sea temperatures, etc)
  •  To demonstrate a company’s environmental commitment.
  •  To mitigate prior or impending damage to a reef from development.
  • To create an educational snorkeling trail. 
  •  To create opportunities that brings benefits to the local community.  
  •  To steer local attitudes towards conservation and help eliminate destructive fishing activities. 
  •  To create a research platform for marine biologist or furtherance of science. 

Overview

There are many conservation program involving people and the ocean. However most only yields short term benefits to the environment and the community. There are only a handful of activities that we can do to create long term benefits. Planting corals and planting mangroves are two similar activities that really nurture long term benefits although the later requires more understanding of its methodologies.  It is believed that it is very difficult to make corals grow but in recent years experiments and research have shown just the contrary. Coral can be planted in many different ways. Different methodology yields different results. This program is developed from methodology adopted from coral propagation in captivity. Many coral species has been successfully propagated in tanks using this method. Applied in its natural environment the corals seem to thrive quickly with higher success rate compared to all other methods.

Besides the propagation methodology the most important aspect of this program is the bond that it creates among all the participants. Here everyone lends a hand and makes effort in saving our natural heritage for future generations. Participants, villagers, resort employees, divers and non-divers all can join for a common goal.

Key advantages of this program

  • Nurturing long term benefits for community and the environment.
  • Higher success rates.
  • Creates bonding among participants.
  • Team bonding as everyone contributes to a common goal.

Benefits of Coral Propagation Programs

This program when implemented in the coastal or island settings shall bring short term as well as long term benefits to the sponsors and the local community. Environmental quality is also elevated with new coral growth at the reefs. Short term benefits can be seen during the program and long term benefits can be seen from its economics implication.

Short term benefits

  • Sponsors shall benefit from the branding and publicity generated from the occasion
  • Participants shall benefit from the experience gained from the program
  • Diving and travel  industry shall benefit from demands of their services during the program

Long term benefits

  • Local community shall benefit from income generated from the coral garden propagated by this program
  • Increased fish population nearby the propagated areas
  • Data collected through long term monitoring can be used for research and education
  • Economics implication of this propagation program shall encourage local community to further propagate corals.
  • Awareness for coral reef conservation is built.

Who should participate in Coral Propagation Program?

The answer is – everyone. The initial look at this program may suggest that is it meant for divers. The perception is far from true. Non-divers actually plays important role in the program by helping in the process of “coral fragging”. This is an excellent program for the entire family to participate. It is educational and fun to the kids as well as adult participants. Following are examples of how you can incorporate coral propagation in your event:

Examples of Coral Propagation Programs

  • Coral Propagation can be part of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR).
  • Coral Propagation can be part of co curriculum program for schools.
  • A community run program
  • Part of Research
  • A conservation program

Environmental Impact and Implications

As in any conservation project the key concern is whether the occasion, materials and the participant bring negative impact to the environment rather than helping it to improve. For this concern all aspect of this program has been carefully studied and improved. This program uses no manmade objects or structures like artificial reefs.

From coral seeding to the base substrate, everything is collected from the environment and returned to where they belonged. Coral broodstock is collected from broken fragments found at site. Healthy living corals are left intact and undisturbed in this program. The base substrate or scientifically called “live rocks” is collect along the beach.

Prior training for the participants is provided by our designated training center. Instructions and hands on demonstration on techniques of coral fragging is also taught in the program. Methodologies are also modified to suit the size and number of participants to ensure that our presence did not induce stress to the environment.

To ensure minimal impact to the environment:

  • We use material existed in the natural environment and no manmade structures
  • We provide training for the participants for their safety as well as preventing damage to the coral reef
  • We design our methods to alleviate stress to the environment
  • We conduct prior research to ensure that the site and its environmental conditions is suitable for the program
  • We collect data and make documentation of all our projects to help us improve this program further
  • We collaborated with researchers to help improve in all aspect of our program
  • We educate our participants so that they can convey our message about low impact conservation program to others

Partnering in Community and Conservation

This Coral Propagation Program is invented as a platform to enable our expertise to be combined with your funding that makes a difference for environment and humanity. If you and your company are looking into doing something beneficial for future generations this is the program that you should consider. Partnering with us in this program shall put you among leaders in coral reef conservation. This program is the most comprehensive and effective in comparison to all other coral reef conservation projects. Our research and development of this program has put us on the benchmarks and we continually seek new and better approach to coral reef conservation. This is possible as our team consists of oceanographers and scientist who have over thirty years of experience. Best of all, this program is designed to compliment local communities on islands and coastlines and help them generate revenues in the long run.

Why Partnering with Us?

1.        You become among the leaders in community and conservation  

2.        The program is the most comprehensive and effective 

3.        You can harness the our expertise in coral reef conservation 

4.        You can take advantage of our continual research and development in this area 

5.        This program is a good branding platform for your company 

6.        You help us educate coastline communities about living sustainably by conservation 

7.        You help improve our nation’s environmental quality 

8.        You create awareness for your employees and associates through their participation in the program 

9.        You enhance bonding among your participants 

10.     You benefit from the publicity generated from this program

Friends and Alliance

At Ocean Quest our expertise in coral conservation did not dictate that we can run everything ourselves. We would rather have alliance who have perfected in the areas that we can mutually benefit from.  Diver training for example is one area that we let our friends do. In this area we liaise all training with Malaysia’s biggest dive center – Seamonkey. Our other alliance that has expertise in community projects around Malaysia is Canvas of Nature.  Our involvement in conservation shall always adhere to the rules and regulations set forth by the Department of Marine Parks. During the development of this booklet we have compiled images and data from our pilot project sponsored by Percetakan Nasional Malaysia Berhad. Our success may not be possible without all this friendship. Our expertise alone also cannot accomplish this without contribution of time, advice and resources by some special individuals like Dr. Azhar Hussin and Dr. Masnita Misiran. Together, all of us make up for the good cause. Or rather, half of the good cause. The other half – that’s you.

Recent Developments

In 2013 we conducted coral propagation workshops to help educate the public about coral planting. Participants from Malaysia as well as from other countries have participated in our coral propagation workshop. They came from all walks of life ranging from mechanic to scientists.

Our first workshop in 2013 is held in Pulau Tenggol on 29th March. In this workshop there are twelve participants. We collected some coral broodstock from the nearby reef and propagated them at 2 sites. In this workshop corals mainly the branching type is propagated.

In March we also search and find some of the corals we propagated in September 2013 and it has grown eight times as compared to the size when we first plant them. In this workshop we introduce a new product. A catalyst that have dual function, first it promotes coral the hold fast on the chosen substrate within 3 weeks. Second the catalyst also allow us to use ordinary super glue for bonding the coral frags. It help the glue coagulate almost instantly upon contact and make fragging much easier and cheaper. This catalyst now pending patent is developed entirely by Ocean Quest.

We continued in our monitoring in every workshop we held in Pulau Tenggol. More participants joined our workshop and more corals are planted in different areas. In April we conducted our second coral propagation workshop. We propagated more corals from broken fragments we collected at the reef.

We also propagate coral in other site that is seen dying or degrading. We also did some leisure dives to check out the cool places to dive in Pulau Tenggol. This time we propagated branching and massive corals.

In May we return to conduct another workshop and did some monitoring of corals from our previous coral propagation programs. We also return to the site of our first program to check on the corals there. We also propagated approximately 50 new corals at the nearby reef.

The corals we planted in September 2012 has grown to approximately 25 cm tall and is blending with the other corals. We can only recognize them from the tags we put during the coral propagation program. many Tags have been lost but we knew that most of the coral clusters in the area are the ones we help propagate last year.

Along the reef in this bay we saw our corals stood proudly in the middle of a dead patch of coral. They are the symbol of hope for the coral reef here. In all, we would like you to come and join us in this effort too.

Join us on our next coral propagation workshop on August 23rd, 2013.

Contact us for details.

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