(CNN Spanish) — A nursery within the depths of the Caribbean Sea: That is the dedication of the Reef Renewable Bonaire system to develop coral reefs which might be residence to greater than 350 species of fish on the Dutch island of Bonaire, off the coast of Venezuela.
For the previous 10 years, this native group has been implementing a pure restoration course of generally known as coral reef fragmentation within the southern Caribbean. “We develop 1000’s of corals in our nursery and lower them like a backyard in water. For instance, let’s say there’s a coral, which we name a mom colony. You possibly can lower a bit, and that piece is completed. It heals after which it begins to heal.” The brand new corals might be clones of the mom colony,” Francesca Virtis, director of operations at Reef Renewable Bonaire, informed CNN. By way of this observe, she says, they’ve succeeded in producing and planting 10,000 corals a 12 months on the island’s reefs.
A lot of the restoration has centered on two kinds of branching corals: elkhorn and staghorn, that are weak and necessary refuges for marine life on the reef. “When the challenge began, we collected samples of just about 50 strains of those species. We have to discover corals which might be extra resistant. They’re extra resilient,” Virtis says.
Coral reefs are victims of local weather change
Work to guard these coral reefs is necessary: a current examine, which befell over 4 years and resulted in 2020, discovered that coral reefs are bleaching 61%, a phenomenon that’s exhibiting indicators of crucial stress for these species.
Behind this phenomenon is local weather change.
“Clearly, one of many results of local weather change is that the oceans are warming. What we’ve seen in Bonaire over the previous couple of years is plenty of bleaching, however happily not plenty of corals die. However after all, if these excessive bleaching circumstances proceed and the corals don’t have time to get better, the looks of the reefs modifications fully,” mentioned Roxanne- Liana Francisca from the STINARA Bonaire group explains to CNN.
(On Australia’s Nice Barrier Reef, for instance, there have been six mass bleaching occasions since 2016, as CNN beforehand reported.)
The island within the Caribbean Sea has had a long time of safety, which has allowed progress in its upkeep. In 1979, the waters across the island got particular safety, making it one of many first marine reserves on the planet. Since then, the reserve’s fishing ban and its anchor and coral removing ban have been recurrently monitored by the Stanhope a Park Belief.
One of many duties they perform there may be to measure the water temperature, which, in line with the biologist, will assist “sooner or later, in a focused approach, if there’s a plan to revive coral species that reside finest at sure temperatures.”
“It’s very comforting to see how one can keep a coral reef that you simply’ve grown from small items for just a few years, first in a nursery after which planting and monitoring for years. One distinction,” Virtis says of his Bonaire expertise.
At the moment, the island’s reefs keep their standing as a number of the healthiest within the Caribbean. The professionals who work there are optimistic in regards to the future, as Francisca says: “Now we have to resolve what our future appears to be like like, after which now we have to take steps to make sure that we will shield that future. I feel that in 20 years’ time we’ll be certain that Bonaire might be one of many few locations with lovely reefs. We’re at a degree the place we will make these selections.”