Bleached by rising temperatures, blasted by dynamite fishing, and poisoned by cyanide.The corals along Bali's coast has faced many challenges. In 1998, El Nino killed almost all the coral garden in the bay at Pemuteran.
Since 2001 a coral reef restoration project started in order to save the corals with the help of the local community.
A low voltage direct current is applied on metal structures using an anode. Once the reef structure is in place and minerals begin to coat the surface, the next phase of reef construction begins. Divers transplant coral fragments from other reefs . Immediately, these coral pieces begin to bond to the accreted mineral substrate and start to grow--typically three to five times faster than normal. Soon other marine life starts colonizing the structure as well. The process was developed by Thomas Goreau and Wolf Hilbertz in the 1970's.
Today the project is being hailed by many as a success, the corals are growing, fishermen stay out of the area and tourists come to enjoy scuba diving on the reefs.
Some say the effort is severely limited. Rod Salm, coral reef specialist with the Nature Conservancy, was quoted in 2007 saying the method may be useful in bringing small areas of damaged coral back to life, but very limited application in vast areas that need protection.
"The extent of bleaching..is just too big. The scale is enormous and the cost is prohibitive."
Time has proven it is costly saving corals with electricity. In Pemuteran they have installed the first wind and solar power unit for the project. They hope this will provide a greener and more sustainable source of energy.
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