The Importance of Boat Moorings in Reef Restoration: Safeguarding Coral Reefs with Smart Solutions

Moorings maintenance is a real component of reef restoration.

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Can you imagine the damage just one anchor could do on this branching Acropora patch?

Imagine a world beneath the waves, a vibrant and diverse ocean teeming with colorful coral reefs, a playground for enthusiastic divers. These underwater wonders are typically found close to the shore, where boats gather, awaiting adventure seekers.

It takes a group of few people to maintain a mooring

Tourism responsibility:

With the surging demand for tourism diving, more boats are navigating these waters. However, a glaring issue emerges when moorings are scarce along the shoreline. The result? Boats resort to anchoring, either for parking or waiting for eager divers. And it’s not because the damage is done below the surface, that it’s not happening.

Moorings at the surface of Nusa Penida.

It’s a common sight, boats dropping anchor indiscriminately, and this is where the trouble begins, a significant loss of coral reefs due to accidental damage at tourism dive sites. One anchor, once in a while is not a problem, but tens of anchors every day, quickly destroys the whole reef.

Lack of Moorings and lack of Maintenance:

But the lack of moorings doesn’t only lead to coral casualties; it can also create boat traffic congestion.

if moorings are not properly maintained, the rope ends up gone, and the concrete blocks and left to no use, while not many corals attach to them.

Picture this: multiple boats jostling for space at a single mooring, a situation ripe for potential accidents.

In Ped, Nusa Penida, there are already some moorings along the shore, but some of the mooring concrete blocks and ropes are too small and too shallow to accommodate larger vessels.

Time to act:

Understanding the urgency and recognizing the shortage of moorings, we took action. In Ped, Nusa Penida area, we strategically installed five moorings in locations where boats can float safely above the reef even during low tide.

Within a minute, installed moorings were used by tourist boats.

Our innovative solution involves the deployment of concrete blocks in reef-free areas. Besides that it provides a base to install mooring, you can see in the pictures where hard and soft corals are actually growing on these concrete blocks, restoring the once rubble areas to a growing ecosystem of corals.

The very shallow part of Nusa Penida is very attractive for snorkelers. This is where their boat like to hang.

Different moorings for different boats:

We’ve thoughtfully incorporated a range of buoy sizes, not just for aesthetics but for practical reasons. Small buoys signify spots for smaller boats, while the larger ones are designated for bigger vessels.

Ropes need to be replaced regularly.

Why the distinction, you ask? In some areas, as the tide recedes, the reef surfaces dangerously close to the water’s surface. Random boat-buoy pairings could spell disaster, potentially causing coral breakage when larger boats touch the reef.

Mooring for large Liveaboard boats are needed all over Indonesia:

The live aboard industry is huge, but unfortunately so few moorings are available for them.

Very few moorings do exist for large (above 20 m) Live-aboard boats. The infrastructure for this industry is dangerously lagging. When large boats do not have moorings to use, they just burn so much more fuel, with disastrous consequences. But the coast of these moorings can’t be the responsibility of fishermen’s groups.

Moorings are a testament to our commitment to coral reef restoration. These smart solutions not only protect our underwater treasures but also ensure safer and more sustainable boating practices.

Just minutes after we installed these moorings, boats started to use it!

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