by Arthur Masse
Planting coral on artificial reef structures in some areas needs to find the best source of coral fragments. Two solutions are set up here in our coral garden at Nusa Dua waters, Bali. The first one is collecting from cultivation in some coral farms, and the second one is from natural habitat surrounding of coral garden. For the first option, we collect coral from the Bali Aquarium and local fishermen group’s coral farm at Serangan island, Denpasar, Bali, as well as from our coral nursery in Nusa Dua waters. Here, many differents species of hard corals are cultivated, and those corals are for export to some countries, especially Europe, USA, and Asia.
Once we collect those coral fragments, we must transplant them on the structures by using cable ties. This is the same for the coral which live in the natural habitat. We just have to cut some pieces from the ones colony who are already on the structures or from the ones living in natural habitat and then transplant it on the structures. No matter the origin of the coral, there is one common point: Once the coral is transplant on any structures or rocks, it has the ability to glue, develop itself, and grow. That means if you cut one piece, the coral doesn’t die immediately: If you re planting it, it will grow and start back living.
In these ways it seems easy to do it, but what take the most time is the maintenance: removing plastics, wastes, overfull algae’s that are staring on it and inhibit or slow their growth, etc. And hard coral doesn’t take one, two or five years to live and grow. Hard coral can live hundred years. A brain coral as sample just growth 1 cm per year, so if you find a big brain coral, you can count how old it can be. Other coral such as Acropora branching can grow faster, around 5-15 cm per year. The growth of coral is different, depending on the species, but mostly slow and take much longer, and that’s why we must make those coral gardens bigger and bigger.