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Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Red Sea To Inherit Artificial Coral Reefs

(Image: Eilat coral reefs, Credit:

With the Red Sea reefs in danger due to snorkeling tourists, Israeli scientists have come up with a unique way at preserving their existing reefs without scaring away water loving travelers.

(Ha'aretz) "People and coral don't really go together," Nadav Shashar, a marine ecologist at Israel's Ben Gurion University told Reuters. "What we are trying to do is give an alternative option. Go and see the artificial
habitat - if you damage it we can replace it." [...]

At the moment the concrete blocks look stark. But Israeli and Jordanian researchers are growing rare species of coral in nurseries and hope to create a flourishing community within 2-5 years - a feat that might take up to 100 years in the wild. Once the coral is ready, divers "plant" it into holes drilled into the concrete blocks.

The scientists argue that the artificial reefs made out of concrete will be much friendlier towards the environment than shipwrecks, and they hope that it will attract the same level of tourism as the natural reefs in the ocean.

If successful, we could see a duplication of this worldwide by various countries.

Note: I wonder if they are growing the coral reefs with the help of these individuals?

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