Printing 3D corals to recreate reef-life

2019-03-13T14:47:03+00:00 March 13th, 2019|Big Blue Zoo|0 Comments

In the film below Alex Goad of Reef Design Lab, from Melbourne Australia introduces in more detail the MARS – Modular Artificial Reef Structure, and explains how they have set up reefs which are artifical and man-made out of 3-D printed ceramic moulds, filled and reinforced with marine concrete and steel bars and which can then be built in shallow water by local people without the need for heavy infrastructure. The reefs can be built up with living corals, grown on ropes, being transferred to the ceramic structures. The project is being trialled at Summer Island in the Maldives.

It is estimated that the earth has lost half of its coral reefs since the mid 1980s, mainly due to global warming but also because of over-fishing, pollution, and  agricultural and coastal urban runoff. The fear is now that 90% of all reefs could disappear by 2050, which could be catrastrophic – the reefs produce oxygen. While live reefs are a spectacular explosion of colour and home to myriad plant and aniumal life forms, dead reefs are now all too common, either leaving their white skeletal remains, or more likely covered in silt.

Meanwhile a few miles to the south of Summer Island, on Thilafushi,  the Maldives government have a crisis of rubbish management on their hands from the explosion of tourism in recent decades, as the film (bottom) from Charismatic Planet shows… (You can see the smoke of this fire on Google earth).