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Researchers have found hope for rebuilding Australia’s Great Barrier Reef, after the first “Coral IVF” trial showed that the coral have not only survived recent bleaching events, but are on track to reproduce and spawn next year.
After culturing larvae in specially designed enclosures for about a week, scientists distributed them to parts of the reef damaged by bleaching and in need of live coral.
Peter Harrison, director of Southern Cross University’s Marine Ecology Research Center, first used the method off Heron Island in 2016, where more than 60 coral are now on their way to being the first re-established reproducing population on the reef through Coral IVF.
“This proves that the larvae restoration technique works just as we predicted and we can grow very large corals from tiny microscopic larvae within just a few years,” Harrison said after visiting the restoration site in early December.