People on small vessel at night with small net in water

Boats 4 Corals

One of the greatest challenges to reef restoration projects is scale – while many method may work at a small scale, recovery efforts over much larger sections of reef are needed.

The Boats4Corals project is helping scale up larval re-seeding in the Whitsundays by harnessing the power of local skills, vessels and passion. Project lead Dr Mark Gibbs (AIMS) has developed an approach to safely and effectively bring many hands on deck to deliver more coral larvae to more reef areas. Local tourism operators, Traditional Owners (TOs), government agencies, and recreational boaters are being trained by Dr Gibbs and the team in the method; from identification of spawning slicks, to releasing coral larvae from floating nursery pools onto the reef.

Ultimately, over the next few years, the project will provide a routine, safe, sustainable, and effective means of undertaking coral reef restoration by the reef community in the Whitsundays region.

This project is part of the Great Barrier Reef Foundation’s Reef Islands Initiative, the largest reef island habitat rehabilitation project of its kind in the Southern Hemisphere. The Initiative is supported by funding from Lendlease, the Australian Government’s Reef Trust, the Queensland Government and the Fitzgerald Family Foundation.