A new technology involving electrified cages is spawning mass coral recovery near Bali. This new, “Bio-Rock,” technology is being seen by some as a means to effectively regrow damaged coral reefs and protect against future damage. Coral bleaching is becoming common place with global warming at a rise which robs corals of their symbiotic algae. without the food from this algae for long periods of time, mass die-off is sometimes seen.

Biorock technology is based on the German marine architect Wolf Hibertz’s that dissolved minerals will crystallize on charged metallic structures. This grows “into a white limestone similar to that which naturally makes up coral reefs and tropical white sand beaches,” the Global Coral Reef Alliance explains.  This limestone is then colonized by reef organisms at a fast pace. “Corals grow two to six times faster. We are able to grow back reefs in a few years,” Thomas J. Goreau, a marine biologist who is leading the development of the technology, told AFP. One current project with this technology involves about 60 electrified cages in the waters near Bali, and they are causing the corals to flourish like never before. Researchers even believe that this new technology can help prevent corals dying from high temperatures. To date this technology is only widely seen a cost effective solution to small scale operations, but proponents are working to use it in larger areas. With our reefs’ futures looking so grim, any new methods for saving them should be fully explored, and I hope we have only heard the beginning of this new idea.

Via: Marine Engineers Network Articles

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