For the first time ever, endangered Atlantic pillar corals have spawned through lab-induced techniques. The scientific breakthrough occurred on August 17, 2019 in a research laboratory at The Florida Aquarium’s Center for Conservation in Apollo Beach as part of Project Coral.
The Florida Aquarium and the Horniman Museum and Gardens, based in London, joined forces in late 2017 to save coral reefs by predictably inducing corals to spawn in the laboratory– a major technique to aid coral restoration that has only been accomplished with Pacific coral species. The partnership with The Florida Aquarium took the research protocols developed in the Horniman’s lab, and applied them in The Florida Aquarium’s state-of-the-art coral conservation facilities.
This project is a "head start" program for coral – the Aquarium will raise the juvenile corals long enough to give them a better chance of survival than they would have had as larvae in the ocean. This effort brings The Florida Aquarium Center for Conservation scientists a huge step closer to helping restore Florida’s reefs.
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