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Stars, clips and cable ties... Coral Reef resilience project installed at Green Island

19th of November 2020
Stars, clips and cable ties...  Coral Reef resilience project installed at Green Island

An innovative scientific research project involving an unlikely combination of star-shaped metal frames, clips and biodegradable cable ties has been installed at Green Island on the Great Barrier Reef.

Installed at the company’s “New York” dive and snorkel site offshore from Green Island, the Quicksilver Group is excited to be participating in this collaborative reef resilience project, providing the platform for leading-edge techniques and tools for protecting coral reef ecosystems. 

The overall project involves attaching more than 2600 coral fragments to a web of 165 hexagonal frame “Stars”, additional coral fragments attached with 200 coral clips, as well as a trial of biodegradable cable ties. At the aptly named New York site, it now forms a new underwater structure on the seafloor where snorkellers and divers will be able to see as the project comes to life.

Quicksilver Group Environment Compliance Manager, Doug Baird, said the project undertakes both technical and field-based training on reef restoration and resilience tools and techniques which help scientific understanding and pressures that these natural environments face, including impacts of climate change.

“This is a long term project over several years involving ongoing site management and monitoring with initial results to be collected in six months.“

The multi-stakeholder project is a collaboration with MARS Sustainable Solutions and James Cook University, both the State and Commonwealth Marine Park management agencies (Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority, Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service), Gunggandji Land and Sea Rangers as well as reef operators and research organisations. 

Quicksilver Group Managing Director Tony Baker said Quicksilver manages a significant reef stewardship program across the company’s operations and has a long history of investing in collaborative research, vital to the long term management and future of the Great Barrier Reef.

“Across the company, we are currently undertaking three collaborative coral reef research projects, each using different techniques, at three of our key reef sites – Great Adventures Moore Reef, Quicksilver Cruises Agincourt Reef 3 and now Great Adventures Green Island. We also provide the opportunity for our guests to learn more about these research projects during their reef experiences.”

Other current Quicksilver Group Reef Restoration and Resilience Projects:

  • The Coral Restoration Project at the company’s Agincourt 3 platform is in partnership with Reef Ecologic. The small coral bommie under restoration was impacted by cyclonic waves and with an unstable substrate, natural recovery was impeded. The project involved the installation of mesh structures, initially connected to a power source, to grow coral fragments into colonies. Installed in July 2018, this was the first project of this type conducted in the GBR. 
  • The Coral Nurturing Program is a cooperative project being run at the Moore reef platform area in association with The University of Technology Sydney using an innovative coral clip as a method of attaching corals to the substrate. This method allows corals to be propagated in areas of the reef which have proven to be very challenging for traditional methods.

More information about Quicksilver’s environmental stewardship initiatives can be viewed at https://www.quicksilvergroup.com.au/environmental-stewardship/