Chloe's time here with us on Cerf has run out. 6 months has flown by but it is time for her to return to Reunion to complete her Master's thesis and present her finding at the end of June. Here are a few parting words...
'Time went so fast during these 6 months spent among Seychelles coral reefs and islands. The coral nursery project was a wonderful experience, and I could never thank enough all the people involved directly or indirectly. Each single person that helped us, even for the smallest tasks, has made this project happen. This project has been possible because of the partnership established between all the stakeholders of Cerf Island and I think it is an essential starting point for any restoration program. We succeeded in the construction of both our nursery designs from cheap materials. For weeks, the corals on the reefs and our nurseries on Cerf Island have suffered from a very severe bleaching event, and unfortunately a lot of them died, especially those at the shallower depths. However, we have started to observe some Porites and Stylophora fragments returning to their natural colour, which is a sign of their recovery! Coral reefs are facing a rapid decline worldwide and considering the global impacts, the successful recovery of degraded reefs is uncertain. Unfortunately the reefs of tomorrow will never be the reef of yesterday. The “gardening” approach of corals is a promising tool for coral restoration as nurseries can be easily established and have already proved their efficiency by enhanced survivorship and growth of nursery farmed transplanted corals. Also this restoration strategy might be considered as a climate change mitigator. It is still a relatively recent field of research and many aspects could continue to be studied such as nursery types, location, maintenance/monitoring protocols, coral species, genotypic considerations and economic consideration among others. A lot still has to be done This first coral restoration experience has aroused a very high interest for my future professional aspirations, and I look forward to learning and gaining even more experience to be part of the restoration of coral reefs. I hope these incredibly vulnerable ecosystems will benefit further consideration from people and that the reefs of Cerf Island will flourish with life thanks to the work conducted here.
Long live the corals!"
Good luck on your masters and thanks for all the effort for our corals!