CCA overgrowth

Protecting young corals with antifoul coatings

Competition and overgrowth by algae is among the primary hazards faced by tiny coral spat (young coral) during their first months in aquaculture or on the reef. Overcoming their low survival during this early life phase represents one of the greatest barriers to upscaling reef restoration. 

This project investigates the potential for the application of non-toxic antifoulant coatings on coral deployment devices to reduce competition by algae and maximise coral recruit growth and survival. 

The coatings have shown great promise in reducing algal growth and improving survival of coral spat when deployed on the reef in our previous tests.

close up on a reef surface on two three-pringed devices. One is coated in pink algae, the other has sections free from algae showing the success of the antifoul.
Seeding devices demonstrating the success of antifoul in keeping algae away from growing corals. Image: A. Negri.

In 2023, we will field test the application of coatings on both the deployment device and in close proximity to spat to maximise protection. The antifouled deployment devices will also be deployed in large numbers to test their ability to protect coral spat across a wider diversity of reef habitats.

Researchers

Jose Montalvo Proano

Dr Andrew Negri

Guillermo Diaz-Pulido (Griffith University)

Florita Flores

Andrea Severati

Dr Cathie Page

Dr Carly Randall

This page was updated in November 2023