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Coral gardening is where small fragments of corals are grown in either land based nurseries of specialized structures in the sea. These nurseries provide ideal conditions for corals to grow rapidly. Once they reach a certain size the coral can be harvested. In Ocean Cay MSC Marine Reserve, some of the harvested corals are left in the nursery to grow more coral, whilst the remainder is placed back into the ocean using a variety of techniques designed to best suit the local seascape.
Reefs are damaged across the world. Planting Super Coral that can withstand hotter water without bleaching is the goal. This is why research and finding these resilient corals are so important. Scientists are identifying corals with the strongest genotype which are able to withstand predicted environmental stress such as elevated temperatures and using this knowledge to increase the biomass of tolerant corals back onto the reef.
There are many different species and genotypes of coral that can be called Super Coral. Further research aims at understanding how they may function as a productive reef, producing a second-generation of sturdier corals that can eventually spawn, releasing their offspring into the water to create new colonies of heat-resistant Super Coral as far as the tide will carry them.