Cultured sea fans to be re-seeded in Florida keys national marine sanctuary

onto the damaged reef.

The results are exciting, and could reduce the amount of time it takes the damaged reef to grow new sea-fan colonies by five to 10 years.

We can shorten the recovery process substantially by putting this new, already-established and larger fragment of soft coral back on the reef, Gaines said.

The theory is, if you can re-seed a reef with larger sea fans as opposed to the smaller, individual animals that settle naturally, the quicker you have mature coral and sexual reproduction occurs, and new colonies are established, Gaines added.

The $72,000, four-year project, which is being funded by HARBOR BRANCH and the Disney Conservation Fund, will involve monitoring the sea fans in their new home to see how well they do.

Were not done, and well be going back within the month to see how theyre doing, but we think theyll do great, Gaines said.


Contact: Geoff Oldfather
Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institution

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