One of the most significant threats to the coral reefs of Pemba is from local fishing activity. In the past dynamite fishing has caused extensive damage to the coral. Although this destructive fishing method is no longer used in Pemba the reefs are very slow to recover and continue to experience pressures from other potentially destructive fishing methods. These activities leave large sections of what used to be living reef looking like a barren wilderness. We believe that the corals are slow to recover because the reef slopes are steep, and the currents can be strong, so any new corals settling on the rubble are easily detached by wave energy. We think it is really important for us to stabilise the reef slope so that the corals can begin to re-grow and the reef can re-establish.
As part of this reef restoration project we are hoping to invest in Biorock®, a patented technology, which uses a low voltage electrical current to induce the formation of a limestone coating on a metal structure. This limestone coating has been found to encourage the settlement of coral polyps and contribute to reef re-growth.
We want to introduce these reef restoration techniques within the Kwanini Marine Protected Area (KMPA) to encourage of the regeneration of the reef. Because the reefs in the KMPA are protected from any kind of fishing pressure we will be able to monitor the success of the restoration effort using permanent monitoring quadrats and video transects to record biannual changes in coral cover and species diversity. Having determine which techniques work best in the KMPA we hope to extend our study area to other damaged reefs along the western coast of the island. We have already started this project by monitoring the coral growth on the unstable slopes in the KMPA but we need your help to fund our restoration work.
The reef restoration project will be undertaken side by side with our coral recruitment project.
Here’s how you can support:
Sponsor a personalised Biorock® frame, 10 x 10m, and help stabilise our reefs
Support our research team to install and monitor the coral recovery on the frames
Donate to our general research programme
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