Navy holds workshop on coral identification, reef restoration

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A workshop on “Coral Species Identification and Reef Restoration” intending to broaden the scope of Navy divers, was successfully held at the Command Diving and Salvage Unit (East) in Trincomalee’s Naval Dockyard and Sandy Bay on 13 and 14 September.

The workshop which covered practical and theoretical aspects was conducted by prominent marine biologists and coral restoration experts. The event was organised by the Tokyo Cement Company (Lanka) PLC with the contribution of Ocean Resource Conservation Association (ORCA) and Blue Resource Trust (BRT).

Practical sessions including reef restoration and reef aftercare procedures were conducted in the underwater coral nursery at Sandy Bay.

Corals make a huge contribution in preserving marine biodiversity. The Navy initiated the coral conservation project and various other initiatives to reduce damage to this precious ecosystem from natural causes and human activities. The Navy is expected to restore and conserve corals by creating artificial concrete reefs and growing corals on them, providing breeding sites for fish.

Corals that were planted on artificial reefs previously are growing successfully. In the future, opportunities will be open for local and foreign divers to engage in recreational diving at those sites and which will be a major boost for tourism.

Ten (10) officers and forty (40) sailors attached to the Sri Lanka Navy’s Diving Unit participated in the workshop.