Tools for coral gardening at the landscape scale

05 April, 2023

A toolkit for environmentally friendly and cost-effective coral restoration could accelerate the recovery of degraded reefs along the coast of Saudi Arabia and beyond.

Coral reefs support around 30 percent of marine wildlife and provide invaluable ecosystem services, such as fishing, tourism and coastal protection. But these vital habitats are rapidly disappearing.

Despite international climate agreements to reduce carbon emissions and limit global warming, scientists fear that coral reefs have passed a tipping point and will continue declining even under the most optimistic climate scenarios. “We have lost roughly one-third of global coral cover in the last 50 years,” says marine scientist Sebastian Schmidt-Roach, “and we urgently need active measures to mitigate further decline.”

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Image: Sebastian Schmidt-Roach (left) and Professor Manuel Aranda (right) inspect the health of their sample coralspecimens growing on their patented Maritechture structure. © 2023 KAUST; Eliza Mkhitaryan.