By Rebecca Garcia / Ainhoa Leon / Toni Barletta - Project Leaders
Coral colony - Montastrea Cavernosa in the new lab
On July 2022 our Center of Marine Innovation finalized installations for our new lab for coral microfragmentation. This facility holds seven tanks with closed water circulation in order to have the best condition for coral growth. Water parameters are being monitored with the Apex system to ensure that everything is stable 24/7.
Recently, the marine operation team brought 40 coral colonies that were dislodged on the reef using them as coral of opportunity to be fragmented and outplanted in the near future. Corals in this facility go through a process of quarantine before being cut in case that there is any disease or coral predator present. After two weeks they are cut into microfragments with a diamond cutting machine and placed onto other tanks to be stabilized. At the same time, plots are being marked with buoys on the outplant sites for us to monitor overall coral growth and survival with 3D imagery.
We currently have 959 microfragments in the lab and 18 plots marked, to have these reefs ready for outplanting.
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