Surrounded by colorful, healthy and truly beautiful coral reefs, Coco Bodu Hithi is often praised for its underwater beauty. Our associates put a lot of effort to keep our reefs magical & happening at all times. In case these beautiful corals break, they are soon collected and replanted. Enjoy reading the latest news about the progress of the Coral Nursery Project brought to you by our resident marine biologist Chiara.
It was September 2012 when we first gathered at Coco Spa Beach to start planting our coral nurseries at Coco Bodu Hithi. I still remember the excitement of the cheerful group of associates and guests ready to participate in the planting activity.
In accordance with our efforts to care for the environment, we designed our coral nurseries to be completely eco-friendly:
* Our skilled associates of the engineering department assemble the metal structures on site, using scrap material.
* We collect naturally broken corals ONLY during dedicated snorkeling trips.
* The plastic cable ties used to attach the corals to the metal structures are removed as soon as the corals are properly fixed.
With a little help form the marine biologists (twice a week it’s maintenance time), the once small broken coral frames collected from the sea floor grew up well; encrusting and covering the metal structures, fighting each others for the space and the light, surviving algae and sponges overgrowth, predators’ attacks and also snorkelers’ kicks.
Today they look like colorful and natural coral blocks.
I am especially proud of my very first planted coral frame: I have been monitoring it for 3 years and a half now!
Year after year the number of coral nurseries has increased and today we have 18 in total: 4 are found at the arrival jetty, 3 at the Watervillas, 10 at the Coco Spa and 1 at Coco Privè.
The first coral nursery planted at Coco Bodu Hithi (also known as CNS1), it’s the only rectangular one. Once very easy to be found at Coco Spa lagoon, today it is so well hidden that we challenge our guests to go snorkeling there and find it!
In late May 2015, I had the chance to observe some of our planted corals bleaching (losing their bright colors). This happens when the colorful symbiotic algae, living in the tissue of the coral polyp, suffer because of the high water temperatures. If the algae leave the polyps, the corals turn white and would eventually die.
You can imagine my relief when the water temperatures went back to “normal”, to observe the same corals regaining their bright colorations and going back to life!
The most rewarding result of the Coral Nursery Project is to observe the marine life community it has attracted. A wide variety of marine animals like little shrimps and crabs, colorful nudibranchs, sea squirts and of course plenty of beautiful fish find their home amongst the coral frames.
At Coco Bodu Hithi we ‘ll keep trying our very best to be part of the solution, not of the problem!
We look forward to welcoming you here to explore the beauty of our stunning coral reefs, guided by our always passionate marine biologists.