Coral reef conservation involves many interdependent aspects. Scientific research and the resultant knowledge combined with hands-on practices are the basis for the implementation of effective and sustainable conservation. SECORE conducts and supports studies on all aspects of conservation, especially sexual coral reproduction and coral restoration (references). We hold workshops at many of our restoration sites to share our knowledge of coral reproduction and restoration methods and strategies. Our education and outreach programs include local initiatives and public relations, as well as international efforts to raise public awareness on the needs and opportunities for coral conservation. In order to facilitate overarching cooperation, we work together with authorities, NGOs and local stakeholders (our work).
The use of sexual coral recruits for reef restoration is a relatively young research discipline. To date, restoration is still labor and time intensive and can only be carried out on a relatively small scale. SECORE has developed a new concept that will enable us to seed large numbers of coral recruits without the need to transplant each coral by hand (coral restoration). We are working with leading scientists to improve our techniques and develop new ones to implement larger scale restoration. In 2015, we started larger scale pilot projects using our new approaches for sexual coral restoration in Mexico and in Curacao..
Raising public awareness of the importance of coral reefs, their decline, and ways to conserve and protect them is essential for coral conservation. This increased awareness must occur both in countries in close vicinity to coral reefs, where economic interests may come into play, as well as in the industrial countries that are mainly responsible for climate change—the higher level threat contributing globally to reef decline (ISRS consensus statement: Climate Change Threatens the Survival of Coral Reefs).
The public aquaria partnering with SECORE conduct educational and outreach programs at their institutions, and together they reach millions of visitors every year. On a regional scale, SECORE workshops coach local stakeholders in restoration practices and spread the word among the local communities. All of our workshops are accompanied by on-site public relations initiatives. The latest news about SECORE's work are featured in our newsroom.