30 Oct 2020 - The Guardian - Biobank aims to house 800 corals in a purpose-built facility near Great Barrier Reef
A Noah’s ark-like plan to house hundreds of the world’s most at-risk coral species at a publicly accessible bank next to the Great Barrier Reef could prove an important part of long-term coral conservation, marine biologists say.
The Living Coral Biobank, labelled a “coral ark” by its proponents, would serve as a technologically advanced facility where 800 different types of hard corals would be kept and bred, in the event live samples are needed to revive populations wiped out in nature in the future.
Inspired by Norway’s global seed vault, and with architecture influenced by mushroom coral, the bank will also include a function space, research labs, and serve as an aquarium-like tourist attraction for Port Douglas in far north Queensland, Australia, a gateway to the adjacent Great Barrier Reef.
If built, members of the public would be able to see corals from around the world as they are conserved in tightly controlled settings – and have a chance to observe corals’ night time glow.