Thursday, January 09, 2020

Scientist plants corals in South China Sea to save ecosystem

Scientist plants corals in South China Sea to save ecosystem
For Huang Hui, planting corals in the deep sea is the most beautiful job in the world. "Coral reefs are rainforests under sea, like a garden in the water," said Huang. "It is significant to recover and protect them," Huang told the Global Times.

Covering less than two-thousandth of the space in the ocean, coral reefs provide shelter for more than a quarter of the world's sea creatures. However, this ecosystem that has existed for hundreds of millions of years has come under threat in the past few decades.

Huang, a research fellow of the South China Sea Institute of Oceanology, Chinese Academy of Sciences based in Guangzhou, capital of South China's Guangdong Province, has worked on coral research and protection for 22 years.

Xisha Islands in the South China Sea was once a paradise for fish and algae. It is now silent in the water there because the coral reefs are in critical situation, Huang said.

In 2002, Huang went scuba diving in the waters near Xisha. In addition to getting an irremovable suntan, she was left with memories of a beautiful experience with crystal clear water and an abundance of colorful corals and spiral shells.

However, much of the breathtaking scenery of this reef has disappeared due to climate change and human activities. All of these factors led to the decline of the coral reef in the near shore waters.

"We started to cultivate corals near the Xisha Islands in 2010, and restored more than 200,000 square meters of coral reefs," Huang told the Global Times........

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