Wildlife Conservation Efforts

Coral Rehabilitation Programme

Note4Students

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : Coral Rehab Programme

Mains level : Artificial coral reefs

Melted plastic rocks: A bad idea

  • The National Centre for Coastal Research’s (NCCR) proposed for dropping ‘melted plastic rocks or slabs’ on the seabed for growing coral reefs and address the problem of disposal of plastic waste.
  • This has drawn criticism from the Gulf of Mannar (GoM) Marine National Park, which has been implementing coral rehabilitation programme since 2002.

Why criticism?

  • The NCCR suggested that plastic waste materials could simply be wound around as hard substrates as a way of disposing of them and help build coral colonies.
  • Worn out tyres were tried as artificial reefs in Florida and Costa Rica, but they turned out to be disastrous.
  • The clustered old tyres initially attracted many marine organisms but they later collapsed and littered beaches.
  • Corals in the GoM were already stressed and bleached under climate change and the NCCR’s idea would turn the reefs into graveyards.
  • The structures might support proliferation of algae in the beginning, but would destroy corals eventually.

About the Coral Rehabilitation Programme

  • The GoM Marine National Park had been implementing the corral rehabilitation programme since 2002.
  • It has so far covered eight sq km areas in GoM region, where coral reefs suffered bleaching and degradation due to climate change and high temperature.
  • The program employs ‘concrete frame slabs’ method.
  • As the sea would be rough during the southwest monsoon season, they commence the insertion of slabs after the end of the season.
  • Corals would start growing in 60 days using the concrete frames as sub-state. The acropora coral species grow by 10 to 12 cm per year on these slabs.
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