Coral reefs are the basis of marine ecosystems. One of the functionalities is that coral reefs attract fish, which is an important source of food for the people living in Shimoni, Kenya. Unfortunately the local coral reefs have been damaged due to dynamite fishing. This has a negative effect on the food supply and the economy (eco-toursim) of the communities living in Shimoni. Restoring the local marine ecosystem here is important for the wellbeing of the ocean and the people.
Photos by Ewout Knoester
Stage 1: Setting up coral nurseries
To start this restoration project a few coral trees have been produced and installed. Small pieces of living coral (Corals of Opportunity) are gathered and placed on the trees. After 5 months time these coral fragments have gained enough strength to be planted out and start a new coral reef.
Stage 2: Installing artificial reef pilot project
Together with the local community we have installed the Modular Sealife System as artificial reef. The unique modular system enables artificial reef installations without the use of heavy machinery. A lot was learned during the installation process and various improvements for future installations were identified. Only two days after installation the first visitors were already spotted!
Stage 3: Planting out new corals
Corals do not grow on all materials. To find out if the corals would adopt the new structures, various coral fragments were placed on the artificial reefs. We were very happy to find out that the corals developed further after placement. In the following monitoring sessions the amount of fishes and different species in the area was higher compared to the situation prior to the reef installation.
Stage 4: Find funding to upscale project
To upscale this project we want to:
- set up a local production facility
- employ 5 residence
- built 10.000 m² coral reef
- restore local ecosystem
- attract tourists to Shimoni
- stimulate growth of local economy
With this video below we applied for funding. We are proud to announce that we are partnering with the AFAS Foundation for the realization of this project!