Saving Maldives coral reefs

Saving Maldives coral reefsImagine, entire ecosystems disappearing over the course of a few years, which took several centuries to come into being.

The Maldivian beaches are quite special in their own way, as the white sand is produced by the coral reefs that surround the islands, each grain of which is the skeletal remains of a living reef organism. But when corals die on a large scale, there is more to see to the eye than what’s really happening.

The dead coral reef would crumble into large chunks under wave action, and from organisms like as bacteria, algae, fungi, clams, worms, and fishes. This would result in stronger erosion on the beaches, and while the supply of fine white sand is no longer there, the beach eventually is replaces with large cream coral pebbles that signify that the reef around is lifeless and dead.

About 97% of corals in the Maldivian Archipelago had perished in 1998, the hottest year in history, following which, due to extensive work, some of the corals have begun to show signs of recovery. With resorts and government agencies experimenting with new technologies, there has been signs of faster improvement.

One of the technologies out there is Biorock technology, which uses very low direct electrical currents to grow solid limestone structures in the sea and greatly speed up coral growth and survival. Completely safe for marine and other life, the survival rate of corals is many times higher than otherwise. Learn more about the Maldives.

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November 2012
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