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Conservation and maintenance of corals

Coral reefs are hotspots of biodiversity based on a fragile balance. Despite their importance, various global stressors such as rising ocean temperatures or acidification of the marine environment today deteriorate coral reefs. They are also disturbed by local factors (urbanization, tourism, overfishing) or more generally by pollution (detritus, chemicals, etc).

Globally, 60% of reefs are damaged (20% of reefs are already irreparably degraded, 20% show all the symptoms of imminent degradation and 20% are at risk of being critically affected in the decades to come). A rapid transition from an ecosystem dominated by corals to an ecosystem dominated by algae illustrates in particular the degradation of coral reefs.

Espace Bleu works to maintain fragile reefs to keep them in good health. Our team also participates in the restoration of degraded reefs to make them healthy again. To do this, we ensure the maintenance of all of these reefs, located in the maritime concessions of our partners, whether natural or artificial (composed of prefabricated modules or Biorock ™). Espace Bleu’s work is also to save many corals in perdition which will be fixed on reefs. We prevent the proliferation of algae and some harmful species to help the good growth of the corals. We develop coral cutting to favor reefs extention.


A methodical maintenance

With various techniques, Espace Bleu’s team removes anything that hinders the proper development of corals, such as sediments that settle on the coral and suffocate the polyps, or even detritus caught in the corals.

Sediment deposit

Espace Bleu also regulates harmful species to corals such as algae and Stegastes.

Algae initially attaches to dead parts of coral and then, as they grow, spread over the living areas, until the coral completely suffocates. Stegastes (also called farm-fish) is a territorial herbivorous fish, which "cultivates" its algae on the corals. After few weeks, algae will cover the coral completely causing it to eventually die.

Espace Bleu participates in the restoration and development of reefs through coral cuttings.

"When colonies are sick, we remove dead corals and quarantine sick corals, so as to preserve those which are still healthy. To replace dead corals, we make coral cuttings, which will gradually develop ".

Since its change of owner, Espace Bleu has been testing new, ecological cutting techniques (on natural supports and without use of chemicals): cuttings on clam shells, on bamboo, on woven pandanus and creation of coral cuttings lianas. 

Scientific Research

The main activity of Espace Bleu is not scientific research. However, its interventions require knowledge of marine biology and Espace Bleu uses its field experience to participate in scientific research by granting part of its resources to it.

Two research projects are underway :

  • A scientific study comparing the growth of corals on different substrate, whether natural substrate, artificial concrete reef or  Biorock ™ reef

  • A scientific study on the interactions between algae and corals in the lagoon of Bora Bora


Rescue and cuttings
Example of cuttings:

Example of a reef restored with the integration of cuttings
>> learn more

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