Japan Goes for Coral Transplant

Date: 2/6/2009

East China Sea, at Sekisei Lagoon, a team of divers bore holes into the surface with compressed-air drills that release plumes of glittering bubbles then insert small ceramic discs into the fresh openings. Each disc carries a tiny sliver of hope for the reef, in the shape of fingertip-size sprigs of brightly coloured, fledgling coral. This undersea work site is part of a government-led effort to save Japan’s largest coral reef, near the southern end of the Okinawa chain of islands. The project draws national attention after alarming reports that up to 90% of the coral surrounding many of Okinawa’s islands has died off. The goal is to perfect methods that could be used around the world to rescue reefs endangered by overfishing, pollution and global warming

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