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Restoring damaged coral reefs using mass coral larval reseeding

Project Code: FIS/2014/063
Program: Fisheries
Research Program Manager: Dr. Ann Fleming
Project Leader: Peter Harrison - Southern Cross University
JUL 2015
JUN 2020
Project Status: Legally Committed/Active
Key partners
Australian National University
University of the Philippines


This project is about using mass coral larval reseeding to restore damaged reef coral communities in the northern Luzon region of the Philippines and evaluating the socio-economic impacts.  

Coral reefs are vital marine ecosystems with diverse ecological, economic and cultural values worth billions of dollars to national economies. They are centres of marine biodiversity that supply essential fisheries and other resources and ecosystem services to hundreds of millions of people in tropical coastal communities. 

However, almost 95% of coral reefs in South-East Asia are threatened, with the Philippines and Indonesia having the largest areas of threatened reefs globally. 

The collapse of healthy reef ecosystems creates significant problems for local communities through loss of essential food and other resources, reduced economic and other values. Reef recovery can take many decades. 

However, coral reefs that are damaged and degraded but recoverable exist in many regions including the Philippines and some parts of Australia. Coral reef restoration can effectively initiate coral reef recovery on degraded reefs.

Expected project outcomes

  • Improved fisheries production, leading to increased food security, employment opportunities and resources for local people.
  • Potential for local coral mariculture to increase incomes.
  • Improved water quality, coastal protection and other ecosystem services due to improved reef status.