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Coral transplants successful despite typhoon damage

Date Posted: 2007-03-08

A coral transplant project between Ishigaki and Iriomote is being called successful by the Tourism Ministry.

The project, begun in 2006, is showing that 80% of the transplanted coral is alive and well, and growing. Transplanted coral has doubled in size and more than 10cm in diameter since last year.

The coral transplant program is part of the Ishigaki Coral Natural Reproduction Project. It is in effect in the country’s largest coral area.

The Technical Support Committee manned by coral specialists say, though, that last year’s typhoon #13 inflicted considerable damage. “We had a problem,” said the Tourism Ministry, “but the transplants are succeeding.” The damaged coral is showing whitish growth that ultimately kills it. Officials note, however, that all coral goes through life and death cycles through the years.

The typhoon raised the seawater temperature by three degrees, and wind and waves action pounded the fragile coral.

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