Skyline University Nigeria

The Role of Technology in rebuilding Coral Reef

Unfortunately, Coral reefs have depleted completely by about 25 percent, while about 88 percent in South East Asian reef in under high-risk zone, at this rate coral reefs, will become extinct and deny the pleasure of enjoying their beauty for generations to come. Some of the major causes for this is global warming, human exploitation of coral beds, overfishing and chemical contamination of coral zones.
Nature by itself rejuvenates but takes hundreds of years to rebuild in their natural environs. Therefore many attempts have been made to rebuild corals through technology intervention, without much success. Can corals be rebuilt artificially with human intervention? Possibly the answer is yes.

Many unsuccessful attempts have been made from the 1950’s, to construct artificial coral reefs. In 1979, German scientist and inventor Wolf Hilbertz created ‘Biorock’, also known as ‘Seacrete’ or ‘Seament’. He found that when Biorock a metal frame, is placed in the sea bed, and low voltage of electricity is passed through, it attracts calcium, and other minerals from seawater forming a natural coral formation. The electric charge isn’t high enough to harm any marine life, so Biorock reefs are appearing around the globe where natural reefs are dying off.

This is a good example of how human intervention through technology plays a vital role in conserving the Earth’s oceans which comprises of more than 70 per cent of our planet’s surface and these oceans contain 97 per cent of Earth’s water. That’s why ocean health is a global concern. It’s also the motivation behind World Oceans Day, celebrated every 8 June. We’re celebrating with this photo of a Biorock reef off the Gili Islands in Indonesia.

Organizations such as Coral Reef Alliance founded in 1994 with a vision to galvanize the dive community around conservation, believes that for conservation to be durable, our interventions must be aligned with the social, cultural and economic needs of each community and that local leaders must be empowered to lead the effort. You can be a part of this movement by becoming members under these categories as friends of reef, guardians of reef, and champions of reef. Another body Planetary Coral Reef Foundation 1991, has a vision to stop the destruction of the world’s coral reefs by 2020 and restore their beauty, health and abundance within this century.

In conclusion, it can be said that even though technological intervention can help rebuild the coral reefs, awareness campaigns and voluntary involvement in the movement can make a difference to preserve coral reefs to as to maintain the scenic beauty of undersea flora and fauna for the benefit of future generations. Each one of us can take a part of the responsibility in conserving the treasure of coral reefs. Thomas Goreau said “Under perfect water quality conditions corals grow as fast as they are capable of. As long as the water is not too hot, not too cold, not too muddy, not too polluted etc.” during an interview with ZuBlu co-founder, Matthew Oldfield.

Adapted from articles on the restoration of coral reefs and the foundations working on it.

Prof. Sudhakar Kota is the Vice-Chancellor – Skyline University Nigeria. He has a PhD. in Economics and Marketing from Indian Barakathullah University, India.

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