Coral reefs from the Maldivian Atolls
The inner slope of Dharanboodhoo coral reef consists of a steeper wall that, from the surface, reaches down to the sandy bottom at a depth of 25 m. Along the slope, there are numerous small caves, swarming with fish and other marine creatures.
The metal structures placed on the sandy bottom of the shallow lagoon are used for corals restoration. Fragments of branching corals were attached to the structure using cable ties. The colonies can grow freely and incorporate the structure of the cage recreating small patch reefs surrounded by a lot of fish.
In 2016 the reefs of the Republic of Maldives were affected by a bleaching event followed by coral mass mortality. During the bleaching, the most affected corals were tabular and branching on the shallow of reef flat and front. The effects of this catastrophic event, dead colonies covered by algae and fragments of coral (coral rubble), are still visible along the reef.
In buoyant drop-loop or drop-line line nursery, coral fragments are hung like clothes on a floating structure in the middle of Magoodhoo lagoon. Floating freely in the water, the corals receive better water circulation, avoid being attacked by predators and survive at a higher rate. After a year of growth, the colonies can be transplanted to degraded areas for reef restoration projects.
In 2016 the reefs of the Republic of Maldives were affected by a bleaching event followed by coral mass mortality. Some branching coral colonies of Acropora sp. survived to this event and helped to recolonize degraded parts of the reefs.