We must work quickly to produce as much coral as possible and to restore and replenish coral reefs. Florida Aquarium’s coral conservation team has been studying this coral spawn for more than a decade, and is working closely with the University of Florida, the Coral Restoration Foundation (CRF) and various members of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums.
Coral Reef Environments
Coral reefs are the richest and most complex ecosystems of all marine environments. Today, reefs are threatened by dredging, ship grounding, pollution, illegal collecting, harsh weather events, disease, and global warming. Aquaculture research provides us with the knowledge needed to populate our aquarium exhibits sustainably, while also populating species for environmental restoration.
The Center for Conservation
The Center for Conservation and partners have been developing coral aquaculture techniques to populate corals for restoration of Florida Keys Reefs. Our research pursuits have focused on questions of health assessment, species selection, genetic identification, system design, gamete collection and culture, and drug treatments for common coral diseases.
Research in Action
In the process, we are actively transplanting corals to damaged reefs, thus contributing to ecosystem restoration in the process.