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Coral Lines Project – making coral reef restoration more accessible

In early 2014 at Gili Lankanfushi Resort, marine biologist Vaidotas Kirsys (Vaidas) initiated Coral Lines project. The first of its kind in the Maldives, this coral reef restoration project relies on low-tech, high efficiency coral reef recovery techniques that involve rope grown corals. The project follows a 2-step gardening concept, based on forestry principles, where coral fragments are first grown in a mid-water rope nursery, and later transplanted to a target reef. The project integrates reef restoration science into the guest experience, and maintains the focus on research rather than profit. Deborah Burn (Debs) joined Gili Lankanfushi team in May 2014, as a volunteer marine biologist, and with her precious knowledge, help and ideas Coral Lines developed further into a project that provides open-access idea. Today one year in, the project has more than 2200 coral colonies grown, and average survival rates at 85%. Debs and Vaidas would like to share their story of successes and failures with everyone, and perhaps set a trend in Maldives for coral projects with new ideas, better science integration and most importantly open-access sharing of information.

Part 1. Corals reefs and threats

Part 2. Coral restoration worldwide and in the Maldives

Part 3. Coral lines Project: Methods and results

Part 4. Questions & Answers

Further Reading

  • Maragos, J.E. (1974) Coral transplantation: a method to create, preserve and manage coral reefs. Sea Grant Advisory Report UNIHI-SEAGRANT-AR-74-03, CORMAR-14, 30 pp.
  • Miller, S.L., McFall, G.B. and Hulbert, A.W. (1993) Guidelines and recommendations for coral reef restoration in the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary. National Undersea Research Center, University of North Carolina, at Wilmington. 38 pp.
  • Harriott, V.J. and Fisk, D.A. (1995) Accelerated regeneration of hard corals: a manual for coral reef users and managers. Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority Technical Memorandum: 16, 42 pp.
  • Heeger, T. and Sotto, F. (eds). (2000) Coral Farming: A Tool for Reef Rehabilitation and Community Ecotourism. German Ministry of Environment (BMU), German Technical Cooperation and Tropical Ecology program (GTZ-TÖB), Philippines. 94 pp.
  • Clark, S. (2002) Ch. 8. Coral reefs. Pp. 171-196 in Perrow, M.R. and Davy A.J. (eds.) Handbook of Ecological restoration. Volume 2. Restoration in Practice. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge. 599 pp.
  • Job, S., Schrimm, M. and Morancy, R. (2003) Reef Restoration: Practical guide for management and decision-making. Carex Environnement, Ministère de l’Écologie et du Développement Durable, IFRECOR. 32 pp.
  • Omori, M. and Fujiwara, S. (eds). (2004) Manual for restoration and remediation of coral reefs. Nature Conservation Bureau, Ministry of Environment, Japan. 84 pp.
  • Precht, W.F. (ed.) (2006) Coral Reef Restoration Handbook. CRC Press, Boca Raton. 363 pp.
  • Hoegh-Guldberg, O., Mumby, P.J., Hooten, A.J., Steneck, R.S., Greenfield, P., Gomez, E., Harvell, D.R., Sale, P.F., Edwards, A.J., Caldeira, K., Knowlton, N., Eakin, C.M., Iglesias-Prieto, R., Muthinga, N., Bradbury, R.H., Dubi, A. and Hatziolos, M.E. (2007) Coral reefs under rapid climate change and ocean acidification. Science, 318, 1737-1742.
  • Reid, C., Marshall, J., Logan, D. and Kleine, D. (2009) Coral Reefs and Climate Change. The Guide for Education and Awareness. CoralWatch, University of Queensland, Brisbane. 256 pp.
  • Young, T.P. (2000) Restoration ecology and conservation biology. Biological Conservation, 92, 73-83.
  • Society for Ecological Restoration International Science & Policy Working Group. (2004) The SER International Primer on Ecological Restoration. & Tucson: Society for Ecological Restoration International. 13 pp.
  • Spalding, M.D. and Grenfell, A.M. (1997) New estimates of global and regional coral reef areas. Coral Reefs, 16, 225-230.
  • Wilkinson, C. (2008) Status of Coral Reefs of the World: 2008. Global Coral Reef Monitoring Network and Reef and Rainforest Centre, Townsville, Australia, 296 pp.
  • Rinkevich, B. (2008) Management of coral reefs: We have gone wrong when neglecting active reef restoration. Marine Pollution Bulletin 56, 1821-1824.
  • Richmond, R.H. (2005) Ch. 23. Recovering populations and restoring ecosystems: restoration of coral reefs and related marine communities. Pp. 393-409 in Norse E.A. and Crowder L.B.(eds.) Marine Conservation Biology: the Science of Maintaining the Sea’s Biodiversity. Island Press, Washington DC. 470 pp.
  • Spurgeon, J.P.G. and Lindahl, U. (2000) Economics of coral reef restoration. Pp. 125-136 in Cesar, H.S.J. (ed.) Collected Essays on the Economics of Coral Reefs. CORDIO, Sweden. ISBN 91-973959-0-0
  • Spurgeon, J. (1998) The socio-economic costs and benefits of coastal habitat rehabilitation and creation. Marine Pollution Bulletin, 37, 373-382.
  • Hughes, T.P., Baird, A.H., Bellwood, D.R., Card, M., Connolly, S.R., Folke, C., Grosberg, R., Hoegh-Guldberg, O., Jackson, J.B.C., Kleypas, J., Lough, J.M., Marshall, P., Nyström, M., Palumbi, S.R., Pandolfi, J.M., Rosen, B. and Roughgarden, J. (2003) Climate change, human impacts, and the resilience of coral reefs. Science, 301, 929-933.
  • Whittingham, E., Campbell, J. and Townsley, P. (2003) Poverty and Reefs. DFID-IMM-IOC/UNESCO. 260 pp.
  • Levi, G.; Shaish, L.; Haim, A.; Rinkevich, B. Mid-water rope nursery—Testing design and performance of a novel reef restoration instrument. Ecol. Eng. 2010, 36, 560–569.