In May 2021 we started our first coral conservation project in Jemeluk and Lipah (Amed, Bali). In collaboration with the local divers’ cooperative Perkumpulan Pemandu Penyelam Amed (or P3A), we are building artificial reefs on damaged reef areas. P3A members are local, Balinese divers. 

In Jemeluk and Lipah there are several damaged reef areas consisting mostly of dead coral rubble. The exact reason for the poor condition of these areas is unknown but a combination of climate change and destructive fishing seems most plausible. 

The rubble is slowly being taken over by algae, which makes a natural recovery of the coral reef difficult. By deploying artificial structures on which coral fragments are transplanted, the reefs can be restored. The area we work in is now a non-official No Fishing Zone. In practice this community-rule is followed up quite well. Except by  some spearfishers, who are still active in the area unfortunately.

We are deploying different ‘coral villages’. A coral village has a lot of variation in structures and dimensions in order to mimic the reef and maximize the refuge area for different fauna. We did research on the parameters for the success rate of artificial reefs and follow these guidelines in the design of the new reefs. For training purposes we made a series of videos on best practices for coral restoration.

Video: Lipah artifical reef

photos by Giacomo D’Orlando

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