In 2020, Sheraton Maldives Full Moon Resort & Spa teamed up with Reefscapers to start their coral propagation program. The aim of this project is to restore coral reefs by placing coral frames around the resort’s island, creating habitat to support marine life and engaging snorkelling areas where the resort’s guests can see their corals grow over time.
Reefs in the Indian and Pacific Oceans have been severely impacted by increasing bleaching events, water pollution and urban developments, resulting in high mortality rates of corals across the globe. Our coral frame technique offers the best solution to restore the reefs, as it is accompanied by regular maintenance and monitoring from our team of marine biologists, with bi-annual photos taken to track the coral growth over time.
How Do Coral Frames Work?
The coral propagation program concept is simple and works by attaching small fragments of corals onto a metal frame, where they can grow into mature colonies. Through planting multiple frames, we create artificial reef systems, which enhance the biodiversity of the area and attract marine life, from fish to sharks and rays.
Immediately after being attached to the frame, the corals start to grow new branches and fish start returning. Within a year, they can grow up to 15cm in length. Within 3 years, you have a full frame. These colonies can also reproduce to repopulate the natural reef and increase the genetic diversity of the corals.
We regularly maintain the frames and follow a strict monitoring program by taking photographs of each frame every 6 months. This allows us to follow the coral growth and refine our propagation techniques over time.
The coral frames are designed and made on a local island in Baa Atoll called Fulhadhoo, providing employment for several local people and allowing them to develop skills outside of traditional fishing.
Progress of the Project
The initial stage of our restoration project was successfully completed in February 2020. We transplanted a total of 50 coral frames around the resort, all sponsored by Sheraton Maldives. This represents an impressive 3,000 coral fragments located in the shallow lagoons around the island.
To ensure the success of the program, Sheraton Maldives has appointed a dedicated team of Reefscapers marine biologists, resident at the resort, to lead weekly interactive frame-building activities, conduct coral reef research, coral frame monitoring and maintenance, marine life educational workshops and guided snorkelling tours.
In June 2020, the project was expanded with the additions of super structures: 12 coral pyramids with mature colonies transplanted in the lagoon and near the dive centre. These colonies were relocated from a nearby island, where their survival was threatened. The addition of these pyramids has attracted an immense variety of fish and other marine life not seen in these local waters for many years.
In May 2023, an additional 5 coral pyramids were built with more mature colonies relocated to Sheraton Maldives. Furthermore, by the end of 2023, there were 567 coral frames planted around the Sheraton!
All the coral frames are monitored every 6 months and photos are uploaded on this webpage. Guests that sponsor a frame receive an update of the frame via email and can return to the Sheraton Maldives to visit their frame underwater.
How to Get Involved
It’s easy to get involved! Simply adopt a frame, and, with your help, we will transplant it with healthy coral fragments and place it in a dedicated growth area. You will receive a unique reference number, and photos will be uploaded every 6 months to this web page, allowing you to monitor the growth of your corals from your home as they mature and flourish.
Coral Spawning: one of nature’s greatest underwater spectacles!
Since October 2021, our team of marine biologists at the Sheraton Maldives have been conducting research into coral spawning: a rare spectacle of which little is known. In the Maldives, there has been very little research conducted into this phenomenon, and Reefscapers have been attempting to understand the spawning patterns of Acropora corals in the Maldives.
After two years of data collection, our team published the first peer-reviewed research of observations of coral spawning patterns in the Maldives. The team at the Sheraton Maldives team documented an incredible 19 species spawning over this time from the natural reef, the pyramids, and the coral frames. This research is on-going, and we look forward to what else the team can discover!
A key aim of coral restoration is to increase the abundance of coral in the area, and therefore increase the likelihood of successful spawning. Documentations of coral spawning at the Sheraton Maldives is a great indicator of the success of the project so far.
Reefscapers Coral Frames at Sheraton Maldives
Here you can see the details and photographs of all our Reefscapers coral frames transplanted around Sheraton Maldives.
Our team regularly inspect and maintain all of our frames, and photograph them every 6 months to monitor the growth of the coral fragments as they grow and mature.
How to view your frame photographs: Enter your name or email address or coral frame tag number into the search box and press ‘Submit’. For example, type a 3-digit tag number such as 050 and press submit.
Thank you to all our coral frame sponsors! It’s great to see so many people supporting our coral propagation programme.
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Coral growth after only 30 months!
Our coral frame #SH006 (planted 19 Feb 2020), and photographed here on 29 July 2022 [SH006H00220729]