Science

Nurturing baby coral to restore the Reef

A $600,000 Government funded trial is underway on the Great Barrier Reef to identify highly resilient reefs and pilot ‘re-seeding’ to restore coral.

“This project contributes to efforts already underway to improve the Reef’s health through the Australian and Queensland governments’ Reef 2050 Plan,” said Minister for the Environment and Energy Josh Frydenberg.

“It also forms part of a number of immediate actions we’re taking to accelerate efforts to enhance the resilience of the Reef in the face of climate change.”

Re-seeding involves collecting millions of coral larvae (baby coral) and rearing them, before releasing them onto natural reefs to accelerate regeneration of coral areas. Coral larvae are produced as a result of a spawning event which occurs once a year starting in November.

The project is a partnership between Southern Cross University and the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority with support from the Great Barrier Reef Foundation.

“Identifying highly resilient reefs and developing reef restoration trials were key outcomes of the Authority’s Great Barrier Reef Resilience Summit which brought together the world’s best minds on coral reef protection,” said Minister Frydenberg.

“For the first time, this re-seeding trial will look at the effectiveness of the technique on a larger scale and pioneer the collecting of natural coral spawn slicks for restoring the Reef.”

The Government remains concerned about the impacts of coral bleaching and is committed to action to address climate change through the Paris Agreement.

Together with the Queensland Government, we are investing more than $2 billion over the coming decade to improve the health and resilience of the Reef through the Reef 2050 Plan.

“Through projects such as this re-seeding trial, we will continue building the skills and knowledge we need to adaptively manage the Reef and protect it for future generations,” said Minister Frydenberg.

This trial builds on previous work conducted by Southern Cross University which was backed by the Government’s Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research.

Source: Australian Government

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