Coral Mission Project step by step
Phase I. Pilot project
We are establishing our headquarters on Dhigurah Island where we will also launch our pilot project. We will test coral restoration techniques and select the most effective ones for future implementation. All our activities will take place under the scientific direction of a marine biologist.
As part of the pilot project, we will:
1. Analyze the state of preservation of the reef surrounding the island and the various conditions such as strength and direction of currents, water depths and degree of sunlight/shade.
2. Based on our analysis, we will select appropriate locations for coral nurseries and replanting sites (i.e. locations we can plant corals once they have matured in the nursery).
3. We will prepare an underwater rack that will form the base for the coral nursery and test various frame variants to find the optimal option. We will consider the following variables: degree of difficulty of implementation, price, availability and ease of transportation of materials, weight, durability, etc
4. We will organize and test all phases of the coral planting process including:
- collecting coral fragments
- storing collected fragments on the underwater rack (including various options for the location and construction of the storage facility)
- preparing, submerging and anchoring the rack
- planting coral fragments on ropes
- measuring planted corals and recording measurements
- installing ropes with corals on the frame
- maintaining coral nursery
- monitoring coral growth in nursery with regular growth measurements
- planting corals at target sites
- protecting and caring for corals after they are planted in their final location
This pilot phase will take 6-12 months.
Phase II. Development of procedures
In this phase, we will create clear and replicable procedures for each step of coral planting processes based on experiences gained from the pilot phase.
Phase III. Creating a product
Using the procedures developed in phase 2, we aim to create a ready-to-sell coral planting activity for local tourism entrepreneurs to sell to tourists.
Coral planting will include:
- A short lecture on corals – explanation of what corals and coral reefs are, the place of corals in the ecosystem, explanation of why they are important to the entire ocean and the causes and effects of their extinction
- Preparation of coral fragments for planting by tourists
- Insertion of coral fragments into a rope
- Measurement and recording of the results
- Attachment of the coral rope to the underwater rack (if the tourists are divers) or watching the guide attach the rope (if the tourists are not divers)
- Receipt of a certificate with full documentation of the planted corals, including their photos and description, and photos taken by the guide during the event
- Regular receipt of a report on the corals planted by the tourist every two months until the corals are transplanted to their final location, along with their current photos and information on the degree of growth
Phase IV. Implementation
We will collaborate with local partners such as dive centers and guesthouses from Dhigurah Island before expanding to other islands and atolls in the Maldives.
Each partner will be trained to follow the standards and procedures we have developed for the coral planting process under the supervision of our marine biologist
The fee paid by guests for coral planting will profit both our partners while also providing Coral Mission with funds to continue our work.
Using a ready-to-sell Coral Planting product will allow Coral Mission to scale coral restoration efforts across the Maldives by involving local communities and providing them with sustainable, financial incentives to conserve coral reefs.
We are also beginning to build cooperative partnerships with construction companies who are building new resorts, expanding ports and performing other intrusive seabed work which destroys coral reefs through intensive land reclamation practices. Cooperation with these companies will help Coral Mission rescue corals from reefs destined to be destroyed by construction work. Coral Mission will then be able to relocate and replant these corals at target sites around local islands.
The long-term benefits of implementing the Coral Mission program in the Maldives
1. Coral reef restoration around local islands
2. Increased environmental awareness about corals and their role in the overall marine ecosystem in both local communities and tourists
3. New methods of sustainable tourism