Mana Island Resort has embarked on a new coral planting project. The initiation of the project hopes to regenerate life back on their house reefs that have been severely affected by COTs infestation, recent cyclones, coral bleaching, and sedimentation. The program which started in December of last year (2008), involves the transplantation of corals onto the affected areas of the reef where live coral cover is at a minimum. Two methods of re-planting are being followed, one whereby whole corals are uprooted from the nearby barrier reef and re-planted, the other method involves cutting off coral tips and placing them in hydraulic cement and made to sit for six months before being transplanted to the areas of the reef that are low in live coral cover.
The reefs of the Mamanuca region have been under stress for a long time. Most are still trying to recover from the major coral bleaching event that happened back in 2000 and also from the COTs outbreak which followed in 2005. The already stressed reefs are being affected by other contributing factors including global temperature rise, pollution, inadequate waste disposal system, unsustainable development practices, careless execution of watersports activities, unsustainable use of marine resources, and careless boating.
We hope all goes well for the project so that other resorts in the region will be encouraged to kick start their own coral planting project to restore the Mamanuca reefs!!