At Tracc, we are saving the ocean, one coral, one turtle and one shark at a time.
The coral reefs of the world are in serious trouble. They are gradually being destroyed at a rate of 2-3% each year from a wide range of human impacts, from dredging to global climate change, from ocean acidification to destructive fishing. Here at Tracc we work on proactive solutions for coral reef restoration.
We have several ongoing projects that plant coral to help reefs recover from human impacts, especially plastic pollution and blast fishing.
Think of coral reef restoration as underwater gardening to help the reef recover. Generally we only start coral planting when the community are involved and the area has no more blast fishing. With help from many volunteers and visitors, by 2016 we had planted over 75,000 corals from a wide range of species using a variety of different techniques.
Our project to stabilise the slope, build new reef and grow new coral are overcoming these problems
The biggest problem that we’re tackling is that there is no living coral available for reproduction by fragmentation or budding. The reef can only regrow naturally by larval settlement. There is lots of larval settlement, but the rubble is unstable and it rolls with storms, turtles and fish. This rolling either abrades the baby corals or turns them downwards into the sand where they smother. Large populations of black spiny sea urchins increase the problem by eating algae and baby corals off all available surfaces. On Pom Pom, the rubble field slopes steeply and the rubble is unstable as it rolls down the slope. The large population of turtles don’t help the situation. They rest on the rubble and slowly slide down the slope.