The protection and improvement of the ocean is at the heart of Pure Ocean. We believe that just simply creating a sustainable diving environment alone is not enough. Conditions of coral are deteriorating globally due to many different factors and something has to be done to help nature. Here at Pure Ocean we work closely with local villages across the island and have a range of different projects, on and off shore.
There is a global problem with debris and refuse littering the beaches which is dangerous to both humans and animals alike. Cyclones and storms often result in large amounts of debris being washed ashore, coming from thousands of miles away.
We organise regular beach clean up parties, not just at our centre, but also around the island, helping to remove the large array of rubbish that is washed up on the beaches. The main culprits are plastic bottles, plastic bags, cans and glass bottles but you would be amazed at what can actually turn up. We are thinking of having a competition of the most bizarre things found – watch this space!
Crown of Thorns (Acanthastar planci)
Crown of Thorns are one of the leading causes of coral osses over the last three decades. They are large, multiple-armed starfish, covered in venomous spikes that have a voracious appetite for eating hard corals. When the population levels are low they play an important role in maintaining a diversity of corals. However, in recent years, for reasons not really understood, there have been a series of massive outbreaks and they have reached plague proportions, devastating entire reef systems.
We work with local communities to regularly remove excess numbers from the reef, helping to protect the slow growing hard corals.
Great care is needed when removing Crown of Thorns as they are covered with venomous spikes that pack a nasty punch and can cause severe infections. It is vital to help to train communities in the correct and safe techniques to remove the creatures.
To quote Global Coral Reef Alliance‘s website: It is a process of Electrodeposition of Minerals in Sea Water known as Mineral Accretion Technology and was developed by Architect, Marine Scientist, Prof. Wolf H. Hilbertz. In 1988, Prof. Wolf H.Hilbertz, began collaboration with Coral Ecologist, Dr. Thomas J. Goreau, of the Global Coral Reef Alliance, in research and development of Biorock with a focus on coral propagation, preservation of corals, and coral reef restoration. Sadly Prof. Hilbertz died in Munich, Germany August 11th, 2007 but his work is carried on by his long term partner Dr.Goreau.
But what does that mean?
In a nutshell, it means is you can make a structure of pretty much any shape and size and then grow coral around this. Now this is a very simplified statement, but using this process has some truly unique and amazing benefits such as the corals grow at a vastly increased pace, up to 8 times faster, and they are in general, stronger, more resistant corals.
Really? How can you make the corals grow faster?
By supplying a current through the structure, it reacts with the sea water to produce calcium, which very rapidly coats it all and as corals hard outside structure is made from calcium this means that a massive amount of energy usually spent by coral polyps in building their homes can be saved and they can use this energy to focus on growing and staying healthy. Again, this is a massively simplified and generalised statement but it aims to give you an idea.
What does this mean for you?
We will be able to offer you diving on some of the healthiest reefs in the world; and with healthy corals come more fish and you can see where we are going here… There is a tragic and shocking truth that the world’s coral reefs are dying at a rapid rate and this is due to multiple factors. Biorock™ projects are the only realistic and existing technology that has a chance to help restore and regenerate the reefs and we plan to have projects at every one of our bases providing it would be in keeping and benefit the natural area. We may have to jump through hoops to get there and undoubtedly will come up against government resistance but this is an area that is just too important not to do it. There have been over 100 projects built in over 20 countries across the world. we hope that soon we will be able to offer you the experience of getting involved.