Scientists ‘artificially breed’ coral in bid to help Australia's Great Barrier Reef | Sunday Observer

Scientists ‘artificially breed’ coral in bid to help Australia's Great Barrier Reef

Scientists have managed to artificially breed baby coral from larvae on damaged patches of Australian Great Barrier Reef in an environmental breakthrough.

Researchers have collected coral eggs and sperm off the reef's Heron Island before allowing them to reproduce and mature in tanks.

More than a million larvae were produced in a mass spawning last November, then developed, with more than 100 surviving and growing successfully on settlement tiles on the reef. The project’s lead, Professor Peter Harrison of Southern Cross University in New South Wales, told Australian media it was an 'exciting' development.

“The success of this new research not only applies to the Great Barrier Reef, but has potential global significance.

“The results are very promising and our work shows that adding higher densities of coral larvae leads to higher numbers of successful coral recruits.

“It may be one of the answers to some of the problems in the Great Barrier Reef. It’s a glimmer of hope.”

- Independent

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