On 16th September 2017, I attended the PADI Coral Restoration Course delivered by the Coral Restoration Foundation, Bonaire in the Dutch Caribbean. The course was held at Goood Dive, Bonaire by a passionate and knowledgeable coral restoration volunteer. The course was highly education but also lots of fun. During the three-parts, I learned about coral anatomy and zooxanthellae symbiosis, the two species of coral protected by the US endangered species act; stag-horn and elk-horn corals, how reefs are built, the life cycle of coral, diseases, threats and conservation and restoration efforts. I took part in three practical open water coral restoration dives where I hung coral fragments on a nursery tree, transferred corals to a coral nursery frame and looked for good spots to transfer mature corals out onto the reef.
Threats to Coral
The major threats to corals are:
- Loss of Sea Urchins
- Coral Bleaching
- Degraded Water Quality
Coral reefs are the breeding grounds for 33% of all known fish on the planet. Using the reefs as nurseries, the reefs protect both marine species, humans and livelihoods with their natural super structures acting as a protective barrier along low lying shores and feeding over one billion people who rely on fish as their main source of protein in and around the coral triangle. If the reefs are not protected, fish stocks will diminish, and human lives will be put at risk.
Support the Coral Restoration Programme
- Make a Donation
- Adopt a Coral
- Take the Coral Restoration Diver Course
- Become a volunteer or intern
Help ensure Corals are Protected
- Maintain good buoyancy, do not touch the corals or stand on the bottom
- Do not walk over reefs if the tide goes out, find or swim to another exit safely
- Secure equipment and gauges closely when diving
- Avoid kicking up the sand and always be aware of your position in relation to corals
- Use ocean friendly sunscreen which does not harm the corals with toxins
- Respect the ocean and dive responsibly.
For further information go to crfbonaire.org