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Is Coral Rehabilitation the answer to the recovery of typhoon damaged corals?

Is Coral Rehabilitation the answer to the recovery of typhoon damaged corals?

Coral rehabilitation projects have become increasingly common in response to typhoon damage. However, scientists recommend conducting a research on the location of the MPA site and its capacity for enforcement before conducting an active coral rehabilitation project. This is to make sure resources and funding are maximized for damaged reef ecosystems.

Artificial reef installation and coral gardening projects are usually recommended in reef ecosystems with considerable damage either from strong storm surge or from blast fishing/destructive fishing. These structures are made to create a complex habitat for fishes to hide and take refuge after their natural habitat was flattened or destroyed.

All around the world, failed reef rehabilitation projects have become common due to lack of planning and coordination with the community. Study shows that installing artificial reefs without considering the poor coastal law enforcement , location suitability and spawning area of fishes have put many projects to waste, as the structure installed are often being encroached. In vulnerable reef ecosystems like in the Philippines, MPA managers and researchers recommend investing more on removing the threats to the coral reefs such as strengthening the local community coastal enforcement, instead on the coral rehabilitation structure itself. The DENR Biodiversity Management Bureau issued a Technical Bulletin on coral reef ecosystem rehabilitation in 2019 to guide projects and make sure they are sustained in the future.

CCEF is working with partners and the local government to make sure our programs for typhoon damage response is carefully planned out before pushing through for coral rehabilitation. 

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