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16 clever ways scientists are trying to protect coral

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Coral nurseries at hotels and resorts

More and more hotels are getting involved with ocean conservation and some of the best luxury nature and eco resorts are home to coral nurseries.

Among them is the Jean-Míchel Cousteau Resort in Fiji. Resident marine biologist Johnny Singh (pictured) started creating the on-site coral farm in May 2013 using fragments of coral colonies naturally broken off due to storms and extreme weather. Those that are swept away and land on the sandy ocean floor rarely survive, so Singh works hard to recover pieces that have been knocked off — specifically targeting corals of the Acropora genus as these grow more quickly than others.

Coco Bodu Hithi in the Maldives also has a coral nursery project, first implemented by resident marine biologist Chiara Fumagalli in 2012. Using scrap metal, her team assemble star-like structures that are lowered to the seabed. They attach broken corals found during snorkelling trips to the frames using cable ties, which are removed as soon as the corals have properly flourished into seemingly natural coral formations — of which there are now 18.

Pictures courtesy of the Jean-Míchel Cousteau Resort

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