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Ontwikkelen protocol koraal restauratie in Sint Eustatius

A coral restoration protocol based on the coral gardening method.

Samenvatting: Coral reefs are one of the most biodiverse ecosystems on the planet which only cover 0.7% of the ocean surface but they provide a home to more than 25% of all marine life. Due to climate change, overfishing, pollution and coastal development reefs have been in a steady decline. To restore the worlds reefs, different programs have started coral restauration trough fragmentation, called coral gardening. One of these programs is RESCQ: “restoration of Ecosystem Services and Coral reef Quality”, which uses the coral gardening method on different Carribean islands. One of these islands is Sint Eustatius, on which STENAPA (the St Eustatius National Parks Foundation) and RESCQ set up multiple coral nurseries in effort to restore Acropora cervicornis and Acropora palmata.

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Coral gardening

To sustain consistency and efficiency a protocol has been drawn up, first the methods currently used by STENAPA have been reviewed and updated. For example: A new method for coding the ladders, rows and fragments has been created, freshly cut fragments will first be suspended in the nurseries instead of direct planting, during fragment transport the water will be changed every 5 to 10 minutes to reduce heat stress, the placement of the fragments in the ladders has been changed and also the way to measure A.cervicornis as A.palmata has been improved. All improved methods have been conducted, filmed and broken down into a step by step program for everyone to understand. The protocol has been tested by 4 persons, whereas the experience in coral restauration of the test person has not been taken in account. By testing the protocol all bottlenecks and ambiguities have been found and been improved within the protocol.

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