Written by:
Hayley-Jo Carr, Training Director & Coordinator of the Reef Rescue Network

Outplanting from one of our biggest Coral Nurseries in the Reef Rescue Network takes commitment from our volunteers and the generosity of Stuart Cove’s Dive Bahamas. This month is continuing to be a success with another outplanting day having just occurred on Saturday 13th January 2018.

Even though we have a cold front coming through our hardy volunteers donned their full-length wetsuits and spent the day cutting, hammering and scrubbing! The Bond Nursery grows Staghorn Coral (Acropora cervicornis) which grows rapidly and only takes 12 months before its ready to be transferred from the nursery ‘trees’ onto the reefs. The divers cut fragments from the trees and bought up to the boat to be transferred into coolers and bins of seawater to transport. These fragments were then taken to be outplanted at Simms Point, a beautiful shallow reef off the South West coast of Nassau. The divers successful outplanted around 250 fragments onto this reef.

There are a couple of methods to outplanting including using Two Part Marine Epoxy or Nail & Zip tie, we use both methods in our network depending on costs, time and materials available. For this session, we used nails and zip ties to secure the corals to the reef, in time the coral will grow and cement itself to the reef completely covering the nail and zip tie. At each location, we tag a selection of corals and take measurements so we can monitor their growth over the coming months and years. Gathering scientific data is vital to the future success of coral restoration efforts.

Thanks again to Stuart Cove’s Dive Bahamas who donated the boat plus 5 trained coral nursery staff to assist with the outplant.  Thanks to all the other volunteers for your commitment to restoring coral reefs. The event was organized by Reef Rescue Network Coordinator Hayley-Jo Carr & Stuart Cove’s Dive Bahamas.

If you would like to become a certified PADI Reef Rescue Diver and assist with coral maintenance and outplanting email Hayley.Carr@perryinstitute.org for participating network dive shops.

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