Scientists have launched the largest-ever attempt to regenerate coral on the endangered Great Barrier Reef by harvesting millions of the creatures’ eggs and sperm during their annual spawning.

The researchers said Wednesday they plan to grow coral larvae from the harvested eggs and return these to areas of the reef which have been badly damaged by climate-related coral bleaching.

“This is the first time that the entire process of large scale larval rearing and settlement will be undertaken directly on reefs on the Great Barrier Reef,” said Peter Harrison of Southern Cross University, one of the project leaders.

“Our team will be restoring hundreds of square meters with the goal of getting to square kilometres in the future, a scale not attempted previously,” he said in a statement.

The “Larval Restoration Project” launch was timed to coincide with the annual coral spawn on the reef, which began earlier this week and will last only about 48 to 72 hours.


Source: Seychelles News Agency