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 house reef, rejuvenating the reef and allowing guests to see their corals grow over time.
Reefs in the Indian and Pacific Oceans have been severely impacted by increasing bleaching events, water pollution and man-made developments, resulting in the death of large coral colonies across the globe. Our coral frames’ technique offers the best solution to restore the reef, as it is accompanied by regular care and monitoring, with bi-annual photography for constant updates.
How Do Coral Frames Work?
The coral propagation program concept is simple and works by attaching small fragments of corals onto a metal frame, allowing corals to grow and mature into new colonies in the resort’s lagoon. This improves the marine habitat and increases the number of species of fish and marine life in the surrounding areas.
Within 6 months of being attached to the frames, the corals start to grow new branches and fish start returning. Within a year, they grow up to 15cm in length. Within 3 years, you have a small reef that will eventually grow onto the natural reef substrate.
We regularly maintain the frames and follow a strict monitoring program by taking photographs of all the frames 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.
How Is The Progress?
The first stage of our artificial reef project was successfully completed in February 2020. We transplanted a total of 50 coral frames around the resort, all sponsored by Sheraton Maldives Full Moon Resort & Spa. 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 Reefscapers marine biologist, resident at the resort, to lead weekly interactive frame-building activities, conduct marine life educational workshops and guided snorkeling tours.
In August 2020, the project was expanded with the additions of super structures, large pyramids with full colonies transplanted in the lagoon and near the dive center. These coral pyramids are amongst the largest man-made coral structures in the Maldives, and have already attracted an immense variety of fish and other marine life not seen in these waters for many years.
By October 2020, all of our coral frames had been successfully monitored, with new sets of photographs uploaded into our database (see below). Corals are now encrusted onto the frames and have started growing new branches. We have also started to expand our coral frames to new locations around the island. As the coral cover increases, we are observing new species of fish and rays around our growing coral gardens.
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.
- US$170 Small frame
- US$250 Heart-shaped frame
- US$300 Couple’s frame
- US$500 Family frame
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 adopters! It’s great to see so many people supporting our coral propagation programme.