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October 2021

Coral restoration around Fregate Island is scaling up

The first stage of our experimental coral restoration project in the Seychelles being very successful, the project is now in phase II with an actual study on coral growth. The research aims to compare different durations of electrification to allow the Mineral Accretion Technology to be even more sustainable and scalable.

Fregate Island Private is planning to introduce solar power on the island. On this occasion and as the Mineral Accretion Technology (MAT) for coral restoration uses electricity, it is important to reduce the carbon footprint of its production. Blancpain supports Coralive.org and Fregate's conservation team in their effort to find a way to take coral restoration to the next level. The key factors in doing so are scalability, efficient logistics, sustainable energy production and usage.

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The main objective is to evaluate if there is a significant difference of support for the corals through the Mineral Accretion Technology if electricity is provided for 24hrs compared to only 12hrs during the day as well as 12hrs only during the night.

Hence, one large circle has been implemented, consisting of 40 cathodic reef restoration structures, which are placed in the ocean at a depth of around 12m. A  first batch of 10 is constantly on electrical stimulation, the second batch is on electricity from 6am to 6pm (solar power), the third batch receives electricity from 6pm to 6am, and the last batch functions as a control, hence not receiving any electricity at all.

The motivation behind the study is understand scalability, which will be the key factor in future coral restoration efforts, making the firsthand results in this research and experience of the utmost importance. Whether it’s placing different structures easily and fast or keeping the costs as low as possible through exact planning and calculations, producing the electricity on land or through floating solar panels, the team will be able to observe the differences in growth speed and survival rates of corals when they are stimulated under different scenarios.

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The movie

Coralive.org is a Swiss-based environmental organization, passionate for the ocean, operating worldwide to help protect, manage and restore coastal ecosystems.

Photocredits : Aki Allahgholi, Daniel Bichsel & Chris Keller

A film by Daniel Bichsel & Chris Keller

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