Video: Divers cut, plant coral off UAE coast to build reef
The divers are building artificial reefs they hope will spur a resurgence in sea life degraded over the years by climate change and development.
Off the east coast of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) coral freshly removed from a reef is cut into pieces and replanted by a group of divers in the waters below.
The divers, from the Fujairah Adventure Centre, are building artificial reefs they hope will spur a resurgence in sea life degraded over the years by climate change and development.
The small team and other volunteers have planted more than 9,000 corals over about 600 square metres in the past year. Within five years, they hope to cover 300,000 square metres with 1.5 million corals.
A project to protect sea life and combat coral bleaching is taking place in the Gulf of Oman. Coral is cut into several pieces before replanting it to create a 'mega reef' https://t.co/OsdeTg1c14 pic.twitter.com/xSjYDgi7Iy- Reuters (@Reuters) June 20, 2020
"It's a fertile environment for coral reefs, and this diversity has started spreading and has helped bring back sea life," diver Saeed Al Maamari told Reuters.
Reefs, developing over thousands of years, are crucial to the survival of many marine species, while also acting as a barrier against waves that can help reduce erosion.
Artificial reefs can help restore reefs that become a habitat for marine life and help combat coral bleaching and other degradation caused by climate change.
But it could take 10-15 years until meaningful levels of coral begin to grow naturally on artificial reefs, marine biologist John Burt told Reuters.
"This is a programme that is going to take a considerable amount of time before it is able to demonstrate efficacy in terms of rehabilitating a coral reef," said the associate professor at New York University's Abu Dhabi campus.
The project in Fujairah has government support with technical expertise provided by the Ministry of Climate Change and Environment.
Fujairah is where most of the country's few popular diving spots are located and officials hope the reef will help foster sustainable fisheries and eco-tourism.
"We're recreating the coral reef environment and system, which will become colonized with fish and increase biodiversity and become a habitat for fish species that are threatened and become a nice environment for diving tourism," said Ahmed Al Za'abi, director of the ministry's marine environment research department.
The opening ceremony was a symbol of what is to come over the six... READ MORE
Khaleej Times is bringing you all the action live from the venue... READ MORE
The Workers' Portrait Series will capture the diversity and spirit of ... READ MORE
The fog formation blanketed several areas in Abu Dhabi, including the ... READ MORE
Operating capacity amended READ MORE
Motorists who pay e-ticket fines within 30 days of issuance will... READ MORE
Gopinath to return to Harvard University's economics department READ MORE
Last week, UAE authorities declared October 21 as a public holiday... READ MORE