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Great Barrier Reef coral-breeding program offers ‘glimmer of hope’


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Scientists have stepped in as environmental matchmakers by breeding baby coral on the Great Barrier Reef in a move that could have worldwide significance.

Coral eggs and sperm were collected from Heron Island’s reef during last November’s coral spawning to produce more than a million larvae.

The larvae were returned to the wild and placed on to reef patches in underwater mesh tents, with 100 surviving and growing successfully.

The lead project researcher and Southern Cross University professor Peter Harrison, who discovered mass coral spawning in the 1980s, says the “results are very promising”.

“The success of this new research not only applies to the Great Barrier Reef, but has potential global significance,” Harrison said.

“It may [also] be one of the answers to some of the problems in the Great Barrier Reef. It’s a glimmer of hope.”

The project has the ability to restore damaged coral populations and has seen similar success in the Philippines where blast fishing using explosives to kill schools of fish has destroyed coral.

Read more:  http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2017/nov/26/great-barrier-reef-coral-breeding-program-offers-glimmer-of-hope

Posted by on Nov 26 2017. Filed under Biodiversity, Climate change, Water & Wetland, Wildlife. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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