Community-Based Coral Farming and Voluntary Marine Conservation Area
The coral reef ecosystem has been affected negatively due to the spread of less liveable environmental conditions as well as large-scale human activity within the lagoon. The project undertaken by the Lagon Bleu team in collaboration with the Mauritius Oceanographic Institute (MOI) and the Albion Fisheries Research Centre (AFRC) aims at locally enhance communities’ capacity to contribute to management, conservation and rehabilitation of coral reefs ecosystems to improve their resilience for sustainable livelihoods and economic development. This will be achieved by:
- The implementation of in-situ coral nurseries will nurture coral fragments to facilitate the growth and expansion of coral cover in at-risk areas within the lagoon.
- The creation of a Voluntary Marine Conservation Area (VMCA) to help address overharvesting and anthropogenic degradation on marine ecosystems.
The farming project entails using nursery-grown, thermally, and bleaching-resilient corals to damaged areas of local species. 1000 healthy coral fragments will be placed within mobile, multi-layered structures and will be supervised and cared for by members of the Lagon Bleu project. Regular monitoring shall also be organised by the team to assess the growth rate of the coral fragments.
The designated VMCA aims at protecting a seagrass meadow that benefits the lagoon ecosystem in providing a nursery-like environment for various fish species including commercial species, contributes to mitigation of climate change through carbon sequestration as well as mitigates of coastal erosion through sediment trapping.