A few weeks ago we have been publishing about corals and the care that should be with them
We have our program to conserve the coral, the coral nursery
Much of the investment made by Calipso Dive Center focuses on research for ecological restoration reef. Obviously for the dive centre the importance of the health of the coral reef ecosystem, because this condition is the ideal substrate for diving operations.
Coral reefs are often described as communities of animals and plants that coexist in a delicate relationship of interdependence. Under the nickname of «ecological engineers», corals provide shelter for many other species and act as a barrier to protect mangroves, sea grass and coastline from erosion. However, the (unsustainable) irrational exploitation of the resource, in terms of food, coastal development, maritime transport, recreation and sink of pollutants, has alarmingly increased degradation. Currently projects are devising globally to also deal with the effects of ocean acidification – increase in emissions of carbon dioxide and global warming, which also generate destructive effects of the reef ecosystem.
In recent decades noted a global average loss of 25% in coral coverage, being the Caribbean one of the worst affected areas. This impairment prevents corals to exercise its functions properly, hindering the natural development and access to these resources, whose economic value for goods and services is estimated at nearly 500 billion dollars annually.
These were some of the causes which led to the creation of the concept of «coral garden» as a method to actively help the ecosystem. Originally from the Red Sea, the proposal was extending all over the world to reach the coast of the Caribbean, where it was adapted to the Tayrona National Park case. A synergistic effort between the Calipso diving school, the administration of the Tayrona Park and the intervention of the Academy on behalf of the Universidad Jorge Tadeo Lozano this project became pioneer for Colombia since. Also as support for the project was created the Calipso environmental Foundation between Roberto Castaño and Nuphar Caharuvi biologist. While it is true that there are other proposals in the country, none of them performs data collection or has a structure as complex as the Tayrona coral nurseries, so it is the only program that allows you to think on a larger scale restoration projects. Coral nursery project is also referred to by the Calipso diving school as an effective mechanism of environmental compensation for educational activities (environmental education) through the diving conducted, given that you are will underpin in beauty stage of the underwater environment, which therefore must be preserved and studied.
Gayraca Bay was chosen because of its state of conservation and its condition of area protected inside the National Park Tayrona., and a length of several phases of testing was implemented a floating nursery at 6 m depth to sufficiently stable to withstand movement from the sea, it enough practice to be visited and maintained and monitored easily, and functional enough to allow the maintenance of 1000 fragments of coral from three different species (Porites porites, Acropora palmata and ) Montastrea cavernosa). In addition is a modular nursery, which allows its expansion, reduction or transfer in a simple way.
Throughout the process, is told with the advice of specialists of national and international stature, among these Dr. Baruch Rinkevich (creator of the midwater coral guaderias Protocol), the Dr. Valeria Pizarro (Colombian specialist in corals), MSc. Nuphar Charuvi, marine biologist and ex of the Park Cesar Garcia Llanos and the MSc. Omar Sierra, among others. In addition has counted with the support in the process of foundations recognized as G-Force and the Calypso Foundation. This ensures the success of the implementation and development of the project. In addition to day care, are concrete and verifiable results, product of the work in nurseries, University theses, papers, seminars, workshops and training sessions.
For the implementation of the child care was and is necessary to invest in materials, equipment, transportation, logistics and coordination of all participants of the project. Such a process requires the completion of several phases to carry out a rigorous and study long-term provisions in a continuous cycle and signage food and sustenance of fragments in the nursery and later transplant in the natural environment. The steps in the implementation of this project can be summarized thus:
- Construction of the nursery: consisted of the acquisition of the materials to build a stable structure that produces minimal impact to the ecosystem. The construction of the structure is made from PVC pipe, glue instant, mesh plastic and cement substrate. Since the creation of day-care centres has experimented with three different structure types, each in turn presented as pros and cons. After this process, the current structure was established as more efficient. At this stage also fu choosing a suitable location for the layout of the structure. This site has been in the Bay of Gayraca between love and beaches of the medium, about 150 m from the coast. There is submerged structure at 6 m suspended by buoys and anchored to the seafloor (Sandy) 16 m depth. This location maintains the child care relatively distant from direct competitors, predators and macroalgae as agencies coralivoros.
Since its inception the coral nursery project, was developed with enough dedication and joint action of Calypso diving centre and the Tayrona National Park. In the pictures the first structure implemented nursery
Gradually the nursery was evolving towards new structures and management methods that optimize your function. The second structure implemented in images.
The third implemented structure of modular type, allowed an easy Assembly and the optimization of the space of culture.