Coral Restoration, Aitutaki, Cook Islands

In July 2015, I worked with Richard Story, Sr. Fisheries Officer, at the Aitutaki Marine Research Centre (AMRC) in the Cook Islands, and the Aitutaki Conservation Trust (ACT), to design a short-course in coral restoration for local school children and visiting tourists. Well over 500 students and tourists eagerly participated in the 4-week programme.

Following a short presentation about coral biology and ecology, we provided hands-on instruction on how to glue live coral fragments to cement blocks. The next day, the corals were transplanted to the lagoon where they are expected to flourish in the years ahead.

This methodology is fun, effective, inexpensive, and easy to implement on a large scale. Contact me if you are interested in setting up a similar programme at your location.

Alesi Ramiah Raga and Alone Kiria, local students, are shown here demonstrating their newfound skills. Alone’s handywork on the reef is shown below.