Dr Carly Randall conducting spawning research in the National Sea Simulator, AIMS, during coral spawning. Photo: Marie Roman
The RRAP Coral Aquaculture and Deployment R&D Subprogram aims to deliver the means to reliably breed corals in captivity at low cost, at a medium scale using sexual and asexual methods.
The ability to effectively mass-produce corals to high standards will underpin the success of medium- to large-scale reef restoration initiatives and interventions and could help conserve wild populations.
The Coral Aquaculture and Deployment Subprogram aims to optimise methods to rear broodstock in aquaculture facilities and improve the survival rate of corals released into the wild.
This subprogram will also develop the capability for medium-scale aquaculture for a core set of 12 coral species. It will enable the supply of propagated corals to support small- and medium-scale field trials in later parts of the RRAP R&D Program.
The scale of coral production required to meet the objectives of RRAP is still uncertain but likely to be of medium to large scale (10 million –100 million corals per year).
This subprogram aims to deliver a comprehensive understanding of the drivers of growth and survival of young propagated corals in natural populations. It will produce the knowledge to support selective breeding and treatments for adaptation in the Enhanced Corals and Treatments and the Moving Corals Subprograms, as well as key data for ecological and evolutionary modelling by the RRAP Modelling and Decision Support Subprogram.
Over four years, the Coral Aquaculture and Deployment Subprogram will undertake an integrated R&D program to develop knowledge and methods to:
The total body of research is planned to be delivered in three phases (A to C) over 10 years.
Phase A will run for two to four years and will focus on critical milestones to deliver the high-level outcomes with a focus on performance confirmation and cost breakthrough R&D.
Phase B we will consolidate our efforts on delivering larger scale field trials, step-change innovation and generalisable patterns.
Phase C will deliver the knowledge for implementation including regional-scale field trials.
Research to enhance growth and survival of coral juveniles in the National Sea Simulator, AIMS. Photo: Christian Miller
This project focuses on developing methodology and technology that optimises coral propagation in an aquaculture setting, as well as enhancing coral larvae settlement survival. The results will inform the design of settlement devices that maximise post-deployment survival across coral species and environments.
This project focuses on developing automated and high-throughput technologies and workflows that allow for mass production, survival and growth of corals grown in an aquaculture setting.
This project will lead, coordinate, and manage the integrated field program, engagement training and data management for all projects under both the Enhanced Corals and Treatments and Coral Aquaculture and Deployment subprograms.
Dr Lone Hoj
Dr Saskia Jurriaans
Dr Andrew Negri
Professor Leonie Barner
Dr David Abrego
Dr Andrew Heyward
Dr Elsa Dos Santos Antunes
Dr Agnes Le Port
Project Manager, AIMS
Dr Paul O'Brien
Dr Lalehvash Mogahddam
Dr Ateek Rehman
Dr Pirjo Haikola