Conservationists use rope farming to save coral’s ‘northern habitat’ in Japan
NUMAZU, Japan —Preservation activities for Eda midoriishi coral using ropes to farm them in the sea and then transplanting them are being employed in an effort to save an endangered colony at Kuzura in Numazu, Shizuoka Prefecture.
The colony’s location is said to be at the northern limit of coral’s habitat on Earth. It used to cover about 5,000 square meters, however, it has decreased sharply to about 5 percent of its known peak size, damaged by low sea temperatures, a kind of sea urchin and other causes.
To rebuild the colony, local entities such as the Uchiura fisheries cooperative and Tokai University’s School of Marine Science and Technology organized a group to protect the coral and started farming it. In three years’ time, the colony has enlarged about 20 square meters.
“The method of farming coral using ropes has the advantage of not easily accumulating deposits that prevent them from growing,” said Hiroya Yamano, director of the Center for Environmental Biology and Ecosystem Studies of the National Institute for Environmental Studies.
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