Hurawalhi Maldives sets up coral nursery to improve reef

Hurawalhi Maldives has launched a new project to set up a coral nursery in a bid to to further improve the island’s coral reefs.

The project is spearheaded by Hurawalhi’s resident marine biologists and Manta Trust researchers Lynn and Tiff. In addition to running the island’s Marine Biology Centre, taking guests on excursions, raising awareness with various activities and ensuring local community outreach too, they have now taken on the challenge to set up a coral nursery to improve Hurawalhi’s coral reefs.

Lyn and Tiff collected coral fragments — mainly Pocillopora verrucosa, Pocillopora damicornis, Pocillopora meandrina, Acropora cerealis and Stylophora pistillata, which are coral species known for their fast growth and their high resilience — from around Hurawalhi’s 5.8 Underwater Restaurant. They took the fragments out onto the beach and started with the fragmentation. Each bigger fragment was split up into roughly two- to five-centimetre large pieces. Each coral fragment was measured and photographed for the database.

The fragments were then put into nylon ropes by simply untwisting the rope, placing the fragment between the strings, and twisting it back together. Each fragment has a certain number, which will make documentation on their growth rate easier. Once all 100 fragments were attached onto the ropes, they were taken down to attach them to a coral frame. The frame sits at around seven to eight metres depth.

Lynn and Tiff will maintain and clean the coral lines on a regular basis and measure each fragment every three months to record growth.

“We hope for the coral nursery project to be successful and aid in accelerating coral growth once planted to harmed areas of the reef,” Hurawalhi said, in an announcement.

Officially inaugurated in January 2016, the five-star Hurawalhi resort is accessible by a 40-minute scenic seaplane flight from the main airport, and offers 90 villas, including 60 Ocean Villas and 30 Beach Villas, for grown-ups who are seeking luxury and innovation. The villas are stylishly and beautifully conceived featuring soothing décor, sumptuous linens on king size beds, bleached wooden floors, and private terraces with panoramic views.

There is an ocean of delights to take in at Hurawalhi: dining at 5.8 Undersea Restaurant, snuggling up with your darling under a blanket or sparkling stars on the iconic Dream Island sandbank, falling in love with the plethora of marine life on the island’s doorstep – in fact, one visit to the resort is hardly enough to experience it all.

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