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Coral reef research & nurturing projects

Environmental Stewardship

Collaborative partnerships and scientific research are at the heart of ensuring the health and ongoing sustainability of the world’s largest living reef system. Across the company, we are currently undertaking three collaborative coral reef research projects, each using different techniques, at three key reef sites - Quicksilver Cruises Agincourt Reef 3, Great Adventures Moore Reef, and Great Adventures Green Island.  

  • One of the most exciting and topical research projects we are involved in, is a Coral Restoration Project at Quicksilver's Agincourt 3 platform with Reef Ecologic. Coral reefs around the world are susceptible to many types of impacts both natural and man-made. The small coral bommie under restoration was impacted by cyclonic waves several years ago and with an unstable substrate, natural recovery was impeded. With GBRMPA approval, the project entailed the installation of six steel mesh panels of 1.5 x 3 metres size to grow coral ‘recruits’ of which three were initially connected to a power source. This was the first time this type of project had been conducted in Australia on the Great Barrier Reef.  Started in 2018, the project has been highly successful with significant increase in coral coverage and survival of relocated colonies. Guests can learn more about this innovative project during their reef experience. View the video below to see the remarkable results from 2018 to 2022Click here for more information about our Reef Restoration Research Project

  • The Coral Nurturing Program is a cooperative project being run at Great Adventures Moore reef platform area in association with The University Technology Sydney. Coral recruits are grown in a nursery, then using an innovative coral clip, are attached to the substrate. This method allows corals to be propagated in areas of the reef which have proven to be very challenging for traditional restoration methods due to wave action and currents.

  • At Green Island, an innovative scientific research project involving an unlikely combination of star-shaped metal frames, clips and biodegradable cable ties has been installed at the company’s “New York” dive and snorkel site. This is a multi-stakeholder collaboration with MARS Sustainable Solutions, both the State and Commonwealth Marine Park management agencies (Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority, Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service), Gunggandji Land and Sea Rangers as well as reef operators and research organisations. The overall project involves attaching more than 2600 coral fragments to a web of 165 hexagonal frame “Stars”, additional coral fragments attached with 200 coral clips, as well as a trial of biodegradable cable ties. The observation of how the coral grows over the next several years will help inform scientific understanding and help improve reef restoration resilience tools and techniques.