Marine Reef Habitat Sustainable Coral Aquaculture Program
Marine Reef Habitat is expanding their aquaculture coral growing program with an Indiegogo crowdfunding campaign. Their goal is to provide the aquarium hobbyist with aqua-cultured coral to slow collection and eventually eliminate coral harvesting from the wild. This is their first big step in a coral reef restoration plan started two years ago.
The world’s coral reefs are under threat from global warming, pollution, coastal development as well as destructive fishing practices and over collection. As Ramos points out; “The only place that an individual can make a difference to the threats our reefs face, is reducing and eventually stopping the over collection issue.”
The plan that Marine Reef Habitat is proposing is to have a 40’ x40’ greenhouse that is heated and electricity generated by solar panels. Coral colonies will be purchased and then cut into small pieces called “frags”. These frags will then be grown into colonies and sold to the marine reef enthusiast.
At six months the frag can be sold to pet shops or used to start the process over again. This process will provide a sustainable colony where no more collection from the wild will be necessary.
The coral aquaculture project is the first step in Marine Reef Habitat’s goal. The second part is to expand a reef restoration effort in Puerto Rico. For the last two years Ramos has taken a two week trip to the island to re-populate damaged reefs from coral gathered from undamaged parts of the reef. This initial restoration effort has shown incredible success, small corals replanted two years ago are now huge colonies on reefs once damaged reefs. Marine Reef Habitat is also going to set aside 25% of the profits from sales of coral to the aquarium hobbyist for donation to coral reef preservation projects around the world.
The Indiegogo funding campaign can be seen at: http://www.indiegogo.com/
Their Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/
Gerardo Ramos 413.883.9862
David Adkins 413.768.9151