Stony coral tissue loss disease (SCTLD), a pandemic-style deadly coral disease, has wiped out thousands of Roatan’s stony coral colonies since it first emerged in September 2020.
This is precisely why one of our top priorities is coral restoration. We are proud to develop and lead incredible projects that bring hope back to Roatan’s reef, such as the coral spawning alliance and CORALMANIA event.
These projects would not be possible without the help of volunteer divers. Volunteering with a coral restoration project, no matter how small your task, is one of the most impactful actions you will ever do.
CORALMANIA: An international mass coral out-planting event
Roatan’s second year of participating in this event just came to a close and the results are in… RMP, with the help of 38 volunteers, outplanted 761 coral fragments in three days! More than double what we achieved last year.
This year’s CORALMANIA in Roatan, showcased three different species of stony corals, Acropora cervicornis (staghorn), Acropora prolifera (fused staghorn), and Acropora palmata (elkhorn).
Volunteers from all over the island worked together to secure the coral fragments onto substrate at predetermined locations. One by one, these magnificently resilient coral colonies will continue to grow and in a few years, spawn and reproduce.
A special thank you to all the CORALMANIA volunteers, as well as Roatan Divers, Coconut Tree Divers, Sun Divers, and Reef Gliders, for hosting us, and of course to the Roatan Institute of Marine Sciences for letting us outplant their corals!
Reproduction of key species is essential to conservation efforts
Coinciding with the water temperature, sunset time, and moon cycle, corals begin their reproductive journey a few days after a full moon, by releasing thousands of tiny gametes (eggs and sperm) into the water all at once.
Motivated by the aftermath of SCTLD, RMP, together with our partners, SECORE, GIZ, ICF, and others, developed a brand-new coral spawning project.
Carolina Rojas, research associate for RMP, leads the program and is excited by its potential and to be the first organization in Honduras to monitor, collect and fertilize coral gametes.
During the expected times of spawning, according to the coral spawning predicting calendar, we enlist volunteers to help us monitor pre-selected coral colonies. We begin our dives 30 minutes before the spawning window and end 30 minutes after.
The pre-selected corals have handmade gamete collection nets covering them, so that when the gametes are released, they are safely caught inside falcon tubes at the top of the net, and brought back to RMP to be fertilized and observe their settlement for a future outplant onto the reef.
To find out more on how you can volunteer with RMP click here.