Reef Restoration

Marine Conservation

WiseOceans delivers local marine conservation and education programmes with global reach. With a strong focus on tropical coastal ecosystems and coral reef restoration, our unique projects focus on both the environmental and stakeholder needs at each location.  We aim to improve the health of tropical coastal ecosystems on a local scale, and to increase awareness on a global scale.

We have reef restoration projects across the Indian and Pacific Ocean regions.

Coral

Coral is a soft-bodied animal called a polyp, which lives in a colony of other, genetically identical polyps. Each polyp creates a hard calcium carbonate skeleton, which gives the colony a rock-like appearance. Coral polyps look like their close relatives, jellyfish, and anemones, as they have the same basic cup-shaped body with stinging tentacles that surround a single opening. However, coral polyps use their tentacles to capture food, extending them from the skeleton to catch tiny plankton. Despite this, polyps actually get up to 90% of their energy from a type of algae (zooxanthellae) that lives inside the corals’ tissues. This algae provides energy through photosynthesis and is also what give coral it’s colour!

Coral Reefs

What are they?

Scleractinia (hard corals) colonies form the foundation of the coral reef ecosystem. Tropical coral reefs can be found in equatorial regions, between the tropic of Cancer and Capricorn. They prefer clean, clear water, with temperatures ranging between 21 and 28 degrees, and shallow depths, above 40m.

Why are they important?

Often referred to as the ‘rainforests of the sea’, coral reefs are one of the most productive ecosystems in existence. Although they cover less than 1% of our oceans, they support around 25% of all marine life and provide income for over half a billion people. Coral reefs are crucial to the economy of many tropical island states, including Seychelles, Mauritius, and French Polynesia, where several of our reef restoration projects are located.

Provide
Food

Aid Medical Advancements

Protection from Storms

Absorb Excess Carbon

Source of
Income

Fill us with
Wonder!

What threatens them?

Coral reefs throughout the world face many threats, both natural and man-made. However, the warming of our oceans is the most imminent threat to coral reefs. In the last several decades, coral reefs have been hit by three global bleaching events, caused by increases in sea surface temperatures. Coral bleaching occurs when the coral becomes stressed and subsequently expels the algae that lives inside their tissues. Without these symbiotic algae, corals lose their colour and die as they have lost their primary source of nutrition.

If we do not tackle the climate crisis we could loose 90% of our coral reefs by 2050

Unsustainable Tourism

Pollution

Extractment for Ornament Trade

Changing Environment Conditions

Disease

Predation

Sedimentation

Unsustainable Fishing

Climate Change

Climate change refers to long-term shifts in temperatures and weather patterns. Though shifts can be natural, since the 1800s human activities have been the primary driver of climate change. This is predominantly down to an increased level of greenhouse gasses in the environment, caused by the burning of fossil fuels. These heat-trapping gasses result in global warming and it is estimated that the Earth’s average temperature will reach 1.5 degrees above pre-industrial levels by 2030. Other causes of climate change include deforestation, increased livestock farming, the use of fertilizers that contain nitrogen and fluorinated gases.

What does this mean for our oceans? 

Rising sea levels, caused by the melting of ice and snow, poses a threat to species that make the beach their home, e.g., sea turtles. Ocean acidification, caused by increased carbon dioxide absorption, alters the chemical composition of our oceans, and reduces the amount of carbonate (a key building block in seawater) that is available. This makes it difficult for certain marine organisms like coral, to form their skeletons and existing skeletons may dissolve. However, the most imminent threat to our coral reefs is increasing sea temperatures. Such changes to a corals environment can lead to them becoming stressed, resulting in them expelling their symbiotic algae, and subsequently dying. On a large scale, this is called a mass bleaching event.

What can I do?

There are lots of small things we all do to help limit climate change, and to protect coral reefs


Save Energy

Much of electricity and heat is still powered by the burning of fossil fuels. Save energy by switching to LED light bulbs, using energy-efficient appliances or add more insulation to your home. Also, investigate energy suppliers and select one that supports investment into renewables.

Conserve Water

The less water we use, the less runoff and wastewater that will find its way back into the ocean. Why not swap a bath for a quick shower?

Adhere to Diving Guidelines

Coral reefs are alive. Make sure not to touch and to minimize affecting their environment – stirred-up sediment can smother corals. If using a boat, make sure to anchor away from coral and sea grasses. When consuming fish, try to purchase from local, sustainable fisheries.

Eat more Fruit & Veg

Eating more vegetables, fruits, whole grains, nuts, and seeds instead of meat and dairy will significantly lower your environmental impact. Plant-based foods result in fewer greenhouse gas emissions and require less energy, land, and water to produce. Be a conscious consumer and choose to buy planet and people friendly products.

Chemicals. What Chemicals?

Minimize the chemicals you send into our waterways by swapping to eco-friendly alternatives. These could be cleaning products, fertilizers, or beauty items like sunscreen.

Be a Marine Crusader!

Volunteer in local beach cleans, or at your local nature reserve if you do not live near the coast. Speak up! By talking to family, friends, neighbours and colleagues, communities can let both local and national leaders know that the time for action is now. Sponsor a coral! Learn more about coral sponsorship below.

Reduce, Reuse, Repair and Recycle

All items we purchase cause carbon emissions at each point of their production, from the extraction of raw materials to the manufacturing process and the transportation of the finished item. Try repairing items before replacing, purchasing reusable items in the first instance and when items must be disposed of, ensure that they are recycled correctly.

Our Projects

We create effective, engaging, and educational reef restoration projects of innovative design, which are bespoke to the local environmental and stakeholder needs. Based on sound scientific foundations, our projects assist the natural recovery of a reef and help to maintain coral diversity and natural resilience.

We have numerous projects where we aim to restore degraded areas of reef using the coral gardening technique and to inspire a sense of stewardship in local and international communities by connecting people to coral, and the threats that our reefs face.

The Petite Anse Project

Launched in March 2015 in conjunction with Four Seasons Resort Seychelles and the Seychelles Ministry of Agriculture, Climate Change and Environment, this project aims to restore 10,000 sqm of degraded limestone reef in Petite Anse, a small bay in South-West Mahé, Seychelles.

The project concurrently aims to increase knowledge and awareness of coral reefs and the threats they face. Resort guests are invited to join in the Reef Restoration process, in which you can learn about coral biology and contribute to the conservation of Petite Anse.

Affiliated Organisations:

La Passe Cadet Project

Marine life in Mauritius includes reef fish like parrotfish, surgeonfish, butterflyfish, angelfish, wrasse, Moorish idols, moray eels and batfish, plus a variety of coral and other invertebrates such as urchins, sea stars, sea cucumbers and clams. In conjunction with Four Seasons Resort Mauritius at Anahita and the Mauritian Government, this project aims to restore 10,000 sqm of degraded reef within a lagoon located on the East coast of Mauritius. In addition, our Marine Discovery Programme at the Resort incorporates environmental education into the guest experience, enhancing guest knowledge and understanding of the beautiful coral reefs and lush mangroves that surround the resort.

Affiliated Organisations:

Bora Bora Lagoon

In conjunction with Four Seasons Resort Bora Bora, launched in 2021. This project aims to restore and enhance 5,000 sqm of internal coral lagoon using the coral gardening technique and innovative reef structures to increase biodiversity in this important reef location.
Furthermore, our resort-based Marine Educators also lead a bespoke Marine Discovery Programme that incorporates guest education and leisure activities. Through guided snorkels, presentations, coral reef restoration demonstrations and more, they help guests, and the local community to discover the magnificent underwater world of French Polynesia.

Affiliated Organisations:

Coral Sponsorship

Help us to restore coral reefs by participating in our conservation efforts! You can sponsor either 1, 2, or 4 sqm plots of coral reef, and will receive a certificate in receipt of your adoption.  Sponsorship can also be gifted, the perfect gift for the marine lover in your life.

Are you visiting one of our partnered resorts? Book now for the ‘Gift to the Reef’ experience and you can undertake this in person!

Your support makes great things happen. Thank You! Learn more about our projects below

SPONSOR

 

 

Consultancy

WiseOceans is a global specialist in marine conservation and education, running unique projects which take both environmental and stakeholder needs into account. With expertise in tropical coastal ecosystems, data collection, surveying, reef restoration and large-scale engagement and capacity building programmes we are very well suited to coordinate, manage, or develop any projects you may have.

To find out more, please contact us.

CONTACT US