Madurai

Gulf of Mannar once again gets a live coral cover

Coral reefs in various stages of growth in Gulf of Mannar.

Coral reefs in various stages of growth in Gulf of Mannar.   | Photo Credit: L. Balachandar

NCCR had launched the restoration project in October 2018

After the coral reef colonies in Gulf of Mannar (GoM) witnessed massive bleaching between 2005 and 2010 and 2016 due to high temperature and other factors, the Field Research Centre of the National Centre for Coastal Research (NCCR) had launched coral restoration project and has successfully extended the live coral cover in dead coral reef areas.

The NCCR had launched the restoration project during October 2018 around the islands in GoM region and used species such as acropora porites, favites, goniastrea and montipora corals for the restoration programme, an official release said.

“Initially we used the coral fragment sizes of 6 to 9 cm and after an year’s interval, we observed 12 to 20 cm growth rate. The acropora species gained maximum growth rate compared to other species,” the release said.

Thanks to the success, the NCCR proposes to place these restored coral colonies in sites where no corals existed previously, through transplantation method whereby developing a new 'habitat creation', it said.

“Also these restored corals will be replaced in the dead reefs areas to rebuild and maintain sustainable reef ecosystem,” the release said.

Restoration of corals in the dead reef areas in GoM became imperative to protect reef biodiversity after massive bleaching events recorded during the years 2005 to 2010 and in 2016, it said.

“Coral reef restoration is one of the important management strategies to restore reef ecosystem from degraded, damaged, or destroyed state to healthy reef condition,” it said.

The NCCR has studied coral reef monitoring in GoM, Lakshadweep Islands, Andaman Islands, Malvan and Gulf of Kutch under the World Bank project, it said adding the NCCR has set up Field Research Centre at Mandapam for long term monitoring coral reef status in respect of climate change and also focused on restoration of corals.

Ministry of Earth Sciences has implemented the Research and Development activities in the GoM, under the guidance of NCCR Director M.V. Ramana Murthy. T. Shunmugaraj, Scientist-F, Project coordinator and Project scientists CH. Ramesh and S. Koushik were involved in studies to find out the status of coral reefs in GoM.

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Printable version | Apr 6, 2020 8:51:14 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Madurai/gulf-of-mannar-once-again-gets-a-live-coral-cover/article29184386.ece

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