If dive/snorkel operators and fishing vessels anchor their boats, this can (often un-deliberately) damage coral formations. To drop an anchor on the sand in between patches of coral is a difficult job, especially on a rough sea. We often see anchors destroying corals in a terrible way, dragging the anchor through the coral formation until it gets stuck. But even if the anchor is fixated, the anchor rope can do even more damage by dragging over the reef with the boat rocking on the waves. It’s estimated that on a frequently used site an anchor can impact an average of 7,1% of the coral on that site.
To solve this problem, buoys can be used to facilitate the mooring of boats instead of anchoring. From earlier experience with installing mooring buoys in the Red Sea, this was as one of the first projects on Zanzibar Coral Reef Care initiated in collaboration with local partner Marinecultures. At the moment we have approximately 75 buoys on Zanzibar, Mnemba and Mafia Island, and 10 in stock for future replacements. Storms, salt water, corrosion and the fierce sun are some of the harsh elements the buoys, steel chains and shackles have to endure. This means maintenance on a regular basis. For this matter we work together with park rangers and dive operators on the different islands.