Post-tsunami, expensive coral restoration plans might not be needed after all, says a recent advisory report commissioned by the World Bank (wb) and prepared by scientists led by a researcher from the University of Newcastle upon Tyne (unt), the uk. The team has recommended that coral reefs be allowed to recover on their own and has referred to historical records of cyclones and other disasters to show this has happened in the past.
Scientists suggest that in most cases, simple removal of debris and righting of the overturned corals are sufficient to let the reefs repair themselves. Methods like coral transplantation are needed only in intensely damaged areas. Alasdair Edwards, senior unt lecturer, who also chairs wb's Coral Restoration and Remediation Working Group, says the quick fixes would eat into scarce resources and could actually harm surviving reefs. "We need a long-term, sustainable solution for restoration." A recent study by London's Coral Cay Conservation group also reveals the beginning of regeneration in some coral reefs just eight weeks after the disaster.