Coral Spawning and Larval Culturing Programs for Reef Restoration
Coral Spawning and larvae culturing is a relatively new form of obtaining feedstock’s for reef restoration. Rather than using ‘donor’ colonies, which are usually sourced from the natural reefs, this technique uses coral eggs and sperm to create new coral colonies which are all genetic individuals. For years this technique has only been available to researchers and professionals with a high amount of knowledge, expertise, and funding. With our improved techniques however anybody can involve in these techniques, improving the genetic diversity of restored areas and increasing the resilience of corals reefs.
What the course involves. . .
- Be certified as an advanced diver under a leading diving organization (PADI, SSI, etc) (must include at least 1 night dive)
- Demonstrate proper diving ability at an Advanced Level and be proficient in buoyancy and self-awareness.
- Be certified in the NHRCP Coral Nursery Theory and Techniques Program.
- Understand the reproductive cycles of corals and their importance in maintaining diversity and renewing reef growth.
- Understand various modes and evolutionary stable strategies in coral reproduction, and their implications with reef threats and restoration.
- Learn how to track and predict coral spawning events.
- Learn how to capture coral larvae and eggs and fertilize them with a focus on maximizing genetic diversity.
- Learn how to culture and settle coral larvae using ex-situ husbandry.
- Learn how to maintain and troubleshoot the flow-through larvae rearing ponds.
Coral Larvae Culturing Program Requirements
- Attend 3 lectures on coral spawning and larval capturing and culturing
- Perform 3 dives related to coral spawning activities (1) in-water histology and site preparation (2) Spawning observation and timing (3) Larval capture and fertilization
- Assist in the fertilization and rearing of coral larval
Minimum course length 12 hours
Published papers derived from this course:
- Developing community-accessible methods of increasing coral reef resilience through selective coral breeding programs (Chad M. Scott and James D. True)
- Community Based Strategies to Enhance Coral Reef Resilience and Recovery through Selective Coral Larval Culturing to Strengthen Population Genetic Fitness (Chad Scott, Prince of Songkla University)
- Culturing of coral spawn Analysis of the implementation of a scientific project into the community of Koh Tao, Thailand (Christoph Hoppe, Van Hall Larenstein)