Coral Reef Regeneration - Pure Blue Foundation
The beach at AKARYN’s Hanuman Bay is a 400-metre sand beach protected by a Coral Reef located 50 metres from shore. AKARYN welcomed the very first guest on 02 April 2012.
It was evident prior to the resort opening that the coral had been affected by environment and weather conditions on Samui and the plan for The AHMS and Blue Foundation coral regeneration started 01 July 2012 to increase coral species from 13 – 25 species.
The Pure Blue Foundation set up all projects for the design, construction, and monitoring of underwater life. This Coral Reef Restoration Project will improve: the quality of the marine habitat, develop sustainable fish and coral nurseries, increase the local marine biomass and biodiversity, and serve as breakwaters to protect the shore from erosion.
During 2010, high ocean temperatures killed about 80% of all the corals of the Gulf of Thailand, including: Koh Samui – Koh Phangan – Koh Tao area (Thai Marine and Coastal Resources Department Report 2011).
A survey by our Pure Blue Foundation team in August 2011, around Samui – Phangan - Tao, found live coral cover only around 15-20% of the reefs (mainly but not only encrusting corals). In addition, they found complete loss or severe depletion of many previously abundant coral species (mainly, but not only branching or staghorn corals issued from Acropora Genus). This coral mass mortality event leads to the drop of fish population in the inspected areas.
Although Thai Government has established marine national parks around the country which restrict fishing efforts, active restoration is essential to maintain Samui‘s marine biodiversity and biomass. This was the main purpose of the The Pure Blue Foundation at AKARYN.
Specific Objectives of the Pure Blue Foundation Project at AKARYN:
The Pure Blue Foundation - Akaryn Samui Coral Reef Restoration Project would be set around 30 meters from the Resort’s beach (See plan below). This proposed location has been determined thanks to a previous marine survey conducted on September 2011.
The reef will be implemented on the external limit of the fringing reef, between the patch of rocks & corals which are composing the natural reef. The exact location of implementation will be chosen so that the depth varies between 3 and 5 meters.
This area presents an optimal depth, which allows the grafting and the good development of diverse coral species. The creation of a reef there will strongly enhance the complexity of the marine habitat and thus, the existing marine life. Moreover, by creating a marine sanctuary, it will be possible to preserve durably the marine biodiversity and biomass in front of the Akaryn Samui.
Description of the Project
First of all, it is important to understand that the efficiency of an artificial reef depends directly of the quantity of new shelters created. In fact, if the project is properly realized, the larger the artificial reef is, more new habitats are made available (for fish and corals) which will make the project more efficient.
We designed a Coral Reef composed of 10 CRC Reef Modules (See plan below). The length of this restored coral reef will be approximately 20 meters long and 8 meters large.
Long term monitoring will be done over 2 years in order to follow and guarantee an optimal development of this new marine ecosystem. We can also provide designed informative documents which can be placed in every room of your resort, increasing guests’ awareness.
Top View of Akaryn Samui Coral Reef Restoration Project
Perspective view of the Akaryn Samui Coral Reef Restoration Project
After immersion, each of these 10 steel structures were filled with Live Rocks which represents a total of 4 tons (see plan below). These Live Rocks are essential to provide numerous shelters to the fish population as well as provide a complete stability of reef modules regarding waves and currents’ action.
Once the artificial reef was built, we transplanted around 500 coral fragments on the reef modules, creating a full-fledged coral ecosystem
Characteristics of the Coral Reef Restoration Project
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