A few years ago, a claim allegedly made by scientists said that the Great Barrier Reef, one of the most polluted natural wonders in Australia, was actually "officially dead".
Now, although this remarkable comment has since been revealed as not entirely true, it has raised awareness of the current health state of the ridge that is far from pink.
Thanks to the effects of climate change, the ridge suffers from unprecedented levels of coral bleaching, causing sin to resemble something closer to the city of ghosts than a vibrant ecosystem that survives with life. Unfortunately, the ridge is in danger of losing more corals if no precaution is taken.
Although we started badly, I am here as a bearer of good news! Since last week, a new new technology is now being used to give our ridge a hand.
In a press release, the Queensland University of Technology (QUT) found that in the first world, underwater robots dispersed microscopic baby coral (coral larvae) across the ridge, in an attempt to turn tides into a fate.
The little assistant, known as LarvalBot, was developed by a team led by Professor QUT Matthew Dunban and South Cross Professor Peter Harrison. The robot was deployed for the first time to the Vlaisof Graff, near Cairns in North Queensland.
This innovative project comes only six weeks after Harrison and Dunbabin won $ 300 million at the Great Barrier Reef Foundation, out of the reef troubled blue box problem, proving that the right decision was made.
The project follows Harrison's technical rescue technique, which was first tested on the Southern Great Barrier Reef in 2016 and 2017. Harrison says:
"This year is a huge step for our research on larvae and for the first time we managed to catch the coral mixture on a larger scale using large floating hunters, which then grow into small coral larvae in our specially built larvae and settle them in the damaged areas on the ridge.
Getting GBRF challenge for reef innovation meant that we could increase the volume of work planned this year, using mega-sized blends and quickly following LarvalBot's initial study as a new method for breaking coral larvae to the ridge. "
LarvalBot can currently carry about 100,000 coral larvae per mission, but it will soon be able to carry much more – perhaps even millions. Once a small bottle releases larvae, it settles on damaged areas of the ridge and over time it will develop into new coral polyps or baby coral.
Is not this the most wonderful thing you've read all day?
Professor Danbubin describes the process:
"Using the iPad to program the mission, a signal is sent to deliver larvae and is gently pushed out of LarvalBot. It's like spreading fertilizer on your lawn.
The robot is very clever, and while slipping, the goal is to distribute larvae in order to form new colonies and develop new coral communities. "
The Managing Director of the Great Barrier Reef Foundation, Anna Marsden, commented on how unbelievable it is to see this project shift from concept to implementation so quickly, especially because of the recent concerns that we have only a short window in which we have to act before the ridge is farther .
The official title of the initiative is the Lark Restoration Project in 2018, and we can be sure that we will monitor their progress with a strangled breath! You can see them by following the links on their website and by signing to become a barrier reef citizen.
Leading credit image: The Lancers Restoration Project in 2018