Ocean Action Hub

13 Apr 2020 - These “rainforests” of the oceans are starting to recover, thanks to the efforts of a group of scuba divers who are nurturing young corals in “nurseries” before planting them back on rocks to rejuvenate the reefs.

  • Jamaica lost 85% of its reefs due to a hurricane, pollution, overfishing and boat damage.
  • “Coral gardeners” are helping to restore the reefs by growing young corals in “nurseries.”
  • Sea urchins and parrotfish, which protect corals, are also making a comeback.

Jamaica’s coral reefs were once a paradise for scuba divers and a haven for marine life from parrotfish to sea snakes. But that was before a sequence of disastrous events deprived the Caribbean island of its coral.

The destruction started in 1980 when category 5 Hurricane Allen, the strongest Caribbean storm of the 20th century, hit Jamaica with winds of over 185 km/h and a 12-metre storm surge.

Just as the coral was starting to recover, in 1983 a mystery disease killed off grazing sea urchins, which kept harmful algae at bay. Pollution, overfishing and boat damage added to the destruction, and eventually 85% of Jamaica’s coral reefs were lost.

CONTINUE READING ONLINE HERE: https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2020/02/undersea-gardeners-are-restoring-jamaicas-lost-coral-reefs

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Publication date: 
13/04/2020
Publication Organisation: 
World Economic Forum (WEF)
Thematic Area: 
Marine ecosystems
Country/ies: 
Jamaica
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