Tourists turn up in numbers for first ever coral re-planting

Caption: Captain Cook Cruises marine Biologist, Elenoa Lawavou (far-right) advices the tourists on how to plant corals. Photo: JOSEPHINE NAVULA.

By JOSEPHINE NAVULA

Tourists turn up in numbers to witness the first ever coral replanting program, organized by Captain Cook Cruises in Tivua Island.

CCC marine biologist, Elenoa Lawavou was glad that the project was finally done.

?I am happy that we have finally achieved this project, and it was wonderful to see the visitors enjoyed how it was done,? she said.

Lawavou said the program was part of the cruise operator?s efforts to regenerate the marine eco-system at Tivua Island.

?We are doing this to improve the health of the reef as it is seen to be deteriorating because of snorkeling, diving and the recent cyclone that just took place last year.?

?Hence doing a coral planting would help not only to regenerate the reef but also to improve the resilience of the coral reef ecosystem, have a positive impact on our ocean and lastly to give back this amazing habitat we so often take for granted,? She said.

Lawavou said they also advice tourists about the marine life before they start their underwater fun activities.

?I have notice a lot of visitors who go on snorkeling end up stepping on the corals, this is really bad as it affects their growth. Therefore, we advise our dive instructors to guide them in a way that they don?t disturb the marine life,? she said.

A total of 45 corals were planted along the reef waters of Tivua Island.

?As most of us know that corals are living organisms and it takes time for them to grow. They may look robust to you but they are fragile and are also vulnerable and sensitive to human and environmental stresses,? Lawavou said.

The corals that were planted will later on be transplanted into the reef.

?Will let it grow on the coral table/bed?for 6- 12 months.? Will try having environment days after every 2months so we can have coral planting as one of our activities,? she said.

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